Skip to main content

Full text of "Maryland's colonial Eastern Shore ; historical sketches of counties and of some notable structures"

See other formats



T. owT» M. DE^VITI 


Maryland's Colonial Eastern Shore 

. W ' 

, H ^ 

H S W 

u O f6 K J 

H ta w o S 

w ►^ S »i O 

W ■«! o o W 

Ul t. § Q o 

Maryland's Colonial 
Eastern Shore 

Historical Sketches of Counties and of 

Some Notable Structures \ \ ^/. i \ / 


PERCY G. SKIRVEN, Asst. Edit. 

Baltimore, Maryland 


Copyright, mi 6, by 

Swepson Earie and Percy G. Skirven 

All Rights Reserved 

Munder-Thomsen Press 
baltimore : : new york 


I fondly dedicate this book to 
the memory of my grandfather, 
Samuel Thomas Earle, 
of "Melfield," Queen Anne's 
County. A progressive agricul- 
turist until his death, (iqo4), in 
the 87th year of his age; a man 
who loved his family and home, 
and one ever ready to extend a 
helping hand to his friends and 
neighbors; an Eastern Shore- 
man of the Old School. 




Frontispiece Map of Maryland 

Preface xiii 

Introduction James A. Pearce .... xvii 

KENT COUNTY Percy G. Skirven . . . . i 

Hubbard Place 7 

Camell's Worthmore . . lO 

CoMEGYs House 12 

Caulk's Field 14 

St. Paul's Church 15 


Suffolk. Lamb's Meadows iq, 20 

Trumpington 21 


TALBOT COUNTY John H._ K. Shannahan . . 24 

Wye House ^q 

The Rich Neck 31 

Perry Cabin 33 

The Anchorage 35 

Long Point 37 

The Wilderness 3Q 

Otwell 41 

Wye Heights 42 

Ratcliffe Manor 43 

Hampden 44 

SOMERSET COUNTY li. Fillmore Lankford . . 46 

Workington 51 

Rehoboth Church 53 

Makepeace. Old Lankford Home . . . .55, 56 

Kingston Hall 57 

Washington Hotel 5Q 

Teackle Mansion 61 

Beechwood 62 

Beckford 64 

Clifton 66 

DORCHESTER COUNTY W. Laird Henry .... 68 

Warwick Fort Manor House 74 

The Old Dorchester House 76 

The Point 77 

Hambrook 7Q 

Castle Haven 81 

Eldon 83 

Glasgow 85 

Old Trinity Church 87 

Rehoboth 8q 

CECIL COUNTY Henry L. Constable . . . qi 

Bohemia Manor q6 

Frenchtown House q8 



Holly Hall 

Partridge Hill. Gilpin Manor loi, 

Tobias Rudulph House 


St. Stephen's Church 

Perry Point 


QUEEN ANNE'S COUNTY DeCourcy W. Thorn . . . 

The Hermitage 


Old Point 


Walnut Grove 

Reed's Creek 


Old Pratt House 

Poplar Grove. Bloomfield . 131. 

Melfield . . . 

WORCESTER COUNTY Samuel K. Dennis . . . 


Timmons Mansion 


All Hallows Church 

Old Furnace ; 

St. Martin's Church 

Burley Cottage 

Decatur Birthplace 


CAROLINE COUNTY Edward T. Tubbs . . . 

Frazier's Flats House 

Murray's Mill 

Potter Mansion ■ 

Neck Meeting House 

Oak Lawn 

Cedarhurst. Thawley House 173 

Castle Hall 


WICOMICO COUNTY L. Irving PoUitt . . . . 

Old Green Hill Church 

Pemberton Hall . . 

Poplar Hill Mansion 

'Rokawakin" Church 

Ben Davis House 

Birthplace of Samuel Chase 

Spring Hill Church 

Bishop Stone Hol se 

Cherry Hill 
















Washington College James W. Cain . . . . 200 

Simple Life on the Eastern Shore 203 



THE reader will observe that this book is the result of true Eastern Shore 
cooperation. Historical facts, as well as traditions, could only be procured from 
those familiar with their own particular sections of our Peninsula. 

Judge James Alfred Pearce in his splendid tribute to the Eastern Shore tells of 
the land of our forefathers. He calls attention to the productiveness of our Penin- 
sula. He speaks of men of distinction who were born on the land lying on the 
easterly side of the Chesapeake. Every citizen of the Eastern Shore knows, either 
personally or by reputation, this distinguished jurist of Kent and for his contribu- 
tion alone this book will be valued by many. 

The principal reasons for my determination to publish this book are as follows: 

First : There seems to be a demand for a publication of this character, because 
the average Marylander is unfamiliar with the geography and history of this part 
of his State. This applies to residents of the tidewater as well as of the interior 
sections of Maryland. While residents of each county are more or less familiar with 
the geography and history of their particular county, their knowledge of other 
counties is often very limited, and it is hoped that this book will be of use and 
permanent value to those who are interested in these subjects. 

Second : To interest all Eastern Shoremen and the general public in old land- 
marks of the State that are fast disappearing with the march of time. The early 
settlers received grants to tracts of land from the proprietary government of the 
Calverts and built their homes along the banks of the Chesapeake and its tribu- 
taries. Their descendants inherited these properties, usually subdivided among 
large families, and built other houses. A chain of these colonial homes is found in 


all the counties and they form connecting links in the family histories. With their 
passing and the loss of family records future genealogical research will be made dif- 
ficult, and in some cases impossible. 

Third: The interest in the affairs of the Eastern Shore manifested by the 
members of the Eastern Shore Society of Baltimore City was an additional incen- 
tive to produce this compilation and I hope the work will prove a further stimulant 
to their interest in the delightful land of their birth. This society is composed of 
natives of the Eastern Shore who are residents of the City of Baltimore. They are 
formed into chapters — one for each of the nine counties. The compilation includes 
a historical sketch of each county and short sketches describing nine places of his- 
torical interest in that county. The sketch for each county has been contributed 
by a well-known county man familiar with its history. Indeed, the love for and 
interest in their native land shown by all Marylanders now living where'er it has 
pleased God to call them has been sufficient inspiration to undertake this publica- 

To do credit to all of the important historical places on the Eastern Shore of 
Maryland worthy to be included in this publication would require a volume of 
several times this size. It is with regret that I am obliged to leave out such well- 
known places as "Gilpin Manor" and "The Washington House," of Cecil; "Broad- 
nox," "Janvier Homestead," "Worton Manor," "Stoneton," and the homes of 
the Wickes, Perkins and Beck families, of Kent; "Cloverfields," "Conquest," 
"Sunnyside," "Wye," "Cheston-on-Wye," "Bolingly" and the Wilmer and Embert 
homesteads, of Queen Anne's; "Hope," "Perry Hall," "The Rest." "Myrtle Grove," 
"Plimhimmon, " "Beechwood, " "Fairview," "Bolton" and other places, of Talbot; 
"Arlington," "Westover," ''The Cedars," and "Almodington," of Somerset; "The 
Hill, " and the homes of the Stewart, Bayly, and Simmons families, in Cambridge, 
the Hooper and Edmondson homes in East New Market, and "John's Point, " the 
colonial home of Col. Roger Woolford, of Dorchester; and other homesteads scat- 
tered throughout our Peninsula; but in order to cover each county geographically 
the selection had to be made without any discrimination on my part. 

The shores of the nine counties known as "The Eastern Shore of Maryland" 
bear the distinction of being washed by the Chesapeake Bay or one or more of its 
tributaries. During the days of the Colony there was an unlimited supply of game 
and wild water-fowl and the game pegs are still found in the cellars of old houses, 
then seldom relieved of their burdens, and on the cellar floors beneath the "canvas- 
backs" and "red-heads" crawled the diamond-back terrapin — no luxury in those 
days — -"just food for all white folks," the poor and rich had a bountiful supply of 
them and fared alike. In fact, at one time there was a law on the statute books of 
Maryland limiting the number of times slaves were to be fed on terrapin each week. 
While these resources have been very much depleted, oysters, fish and crabs are still 
plentiful and with the enforcement of conservation laws and broader education on 
the subject the supply of these water-riches should remain with us for many years 
to come. 

[ xiv 1 

The compilation of the data contained in this book represents considerable 
time and research. To Mr. Percy G. Skirven, a member of the Eastern Shore Societ\- 
and a native of Kent County, author of the historical sketch for that county, my 
thanks are gratefully extended. He has worked continuously with me in the com- 
pilation and arrangement of the data. He has also vised much of the matter in the 
book, in which work his knowledge of Maryland's history and land grants has 
made his aid invaluable. The majority of the illustrations appearing herein are 
from a large collection of photographs of Maryland scenes taken by me while 
engaged in surveying the waters of the Chesapeake and its tributaries. The publi- 
cation of this book required the outlay of considerable money and two public- 
spirited members of the Eastern Shore Society, Mr. B. Howard Haman and Mr. 
Wilbur W. Hubbard, of Kent County, came forward and made it financially pos- 
sible. My sincere appreciation and thanks are extended to these two gentlemen. 

Many members of the Eastern Shore Society and residents of the State have 
aided in this work in other ways and to these I feel under many obligations for 
their assistance. The President, Judge W. Laird Henry: Past Presidents Dr. J. 
Clement Clark and Dr. James Bordley, Jr., and the Vice-Presidents of the Society 
have helped greatly. The Secretary, Mr. J. H. K. Shannahan, has been untiring 
in his efforts. In addition to these, my thanks are extended to Judge Pearce and 
Mrs. Wilbur W. Hubbard, of Kent; Mr. Milton Campbell, Gen. Joseph B. Seth, 
Mr. Frank W. Seth, Mr. W. Thomas Kemp, Col. Richard H. Spencer, Mr. Francis 
B. Culver and Mr. Wilson M. Tylor, of Talbot; Mr. H. Fillmore Lankford, Mrs. 
Elizabeth H. Gale, Mr. Henry J. Waters, Mrs. J. Douglas Wallop, Mr. and Mrs. 
H. E. Collins, Mr. J. Weldon Green and Mr. Joseph Y. Brattan, of Somerset; Miss 
Nellie Calvert Carroll, of Dorchester, to whom I feel deeply indebted for her suc- 
cessful efforts in securing pictures and data for the Dorchester sketches, also to Mr. 
James S. Shepherd, Land Commissioner of Maryland ; Mr. Henry L. Constable, of 
Cecil; Mr. DeCourcy W. Thom, Mr. A. S. Goldsborough, Mr. Madison Brown, 
Mr. F. Julien Bailey, Miss Susan Williams, Mr. Edward B. Emory, of Queen Anne's ; 
Mr. Samuel K. Dennis, Mr. John W. Staton and Mr. William R. Bishop, of Wor- 
cester; Mr. J. Dukes Downes, Mr. Howard Melvin, Capt. Charles W. Wright, Col. 
Albert W. Sisk, Mr. J. Kemp Stevens, Mr. Charles B. Harrison and Mr. Edward 
T. Tubbs, of Caroline — Mr. Tubbs, in addition to writing the history of his county, 
has aided with the sketches and the arrangement of the work; Mr. L. Irving Pollitt 
and Judge E. Stanley Toadvine, of Wicomico. I am indebted to these and many 
others who have cooperated with me in the publication of these stories of Mary- 
land's Colonial Eastern Shore, thereby placing in the hands of the reader original 
data and authentic information of that favored part of Maryland that lies east of 
the Chesapeake Bay. 




Know ye the land of the cedar and vine. 
Where the flowers ever blossom, the beams ever shine. 
Where the light winds of zephyr, oppressed with perfume. 
Wax faint o'er the gardens of rose in their bloom; 
Where the peach and the melon are choicest of fruit. 
And the voice of the mocking bird never is mute; 
Where the tints of the earth and the hues of the sky. 
In color though varied, in beauty may vie? 
Tis the land of the favored Eastern Shore, 
Where nature has lavished its marvelous store. 

Local adaptation of The Bride of Abydos. 

FROM the rock-ribbed hills of Cecil, where the vocal waters of the 
Octoraro and the Elk are lost in the Susquehanna and the Chesa- 
peake, to the cypress swamps and green lagoons of the Pocomoke, 
whose silent current seeks the sea, there is a succession of noble 
streams as fair "as e'er the sun shone on." The Shannon, the Chester, 
the Wye, the Miles, the Tred Avon and the Warwick are redolent 
of our English ancestry. The Bohemia recalls Augustine Herman and 
the Dutch settlers in Delaware. The Corsica, which joins the Chester 
at Spaniard's Point, hints at the French and Spanish element attracted 
by the promise of civil and religious liberty for all ; while the Chop- 
tank, the Nanticoke, the Wicomico, the Manokin and the Pocomoke 
tell of the Indians who were once the undisputed lords of the soil. 

Strung upon these beautiful rivers, like jewels upon silver threads, 
were the old manor houses — ^some costly and stately, others plain and 
unpretentious — and the substantial homes of the pioneers of civiliza- 
tion whose only early paths of travel were waterways, and whose 
vehicles of business and pleasure were barges and canoes. Now that 
so many denizens of our great cities and busy towns having the 
wealth or the competence which invites retirement from the toil and 
hazards of active business are seeking for rural homes; now that the 
automobile, with the finest system of macadam roads, has solved the 
question of mileage, the attractions of the Eastern Shore to home- 
seekers ought to be made known to the public beyond its limits. While 
this volume originated in Mr. Earle's wish to stimulate the interest of 
Maryland men and women in the history of this part of the State, 
the careful text and beautiful photographic illustrations of the old 
historic homes cannot fail to give it wider publicity, and there are 
few regions which combine greater natural attractions and finer asso- 


ciations with moderate land values and better prospect of substantial 
and steady increase. Here is a fertile soil ; a mild and equable climate, 
with absolute immunity from the storms and floods so destructive in 
some other highly favored regions; numerous navigable streams of 
rare beauty, teeming with fish and oysters, and providing short and 
easy access to Baltimore, and proximity to the three largest cities of 
the Atlantic Coast, with every rail facility to their markets as well 
as to those of central and more western States. 

Many families are the lineal descendants of some of the best blood 
of Old England and the great majority are of the lineage of those 
sturdy lovers of civil and religious liberty in equal combination, which 
in spite of Magna Charta they did not enjoy at home. Our people 
are more homogeneous in origin and character than those of any other 
region except the mountain ranges which stretch from the Potomac 
to the Great Bend of the Tennessee' River. Here was bred and born 
Robert Morris, the financier of the Revolution — ^Samuel Chase, the 
Carnot of that period — ^Tench Tilghman, the trusted staff officer of 
General Washington throughout the weary years of the struggle for 
independence — and John Dickinson, the statesman to whose wisdom 
and patriotism the Earl of Chatham bore witness in Parliament in 
speaking of the petition to the King written by him, and declaring 
"that all attempts to impose servitude on such men must be in vain." 
From that source, too, were recruited in part the command of General 
Smallwood, which at Long Island Heights saved Washington's army 
from destruction, and that of Colonel Howard, which at Cowpens 
humiliated the British regulars and gained one of the most important 
victories of the war in its results. 

One who in his splendid young manhood fought with Forrest 
throughout the war between the States, now in his splendid old age 
a distinguished surgeon in New York City and a patriotic lover of 
the reunited country, has happily described his people and comrades 
of North Alabama as "then and still clean-cut Americans, uncon- 
taminated by contact or association with the restless, poverty-stricken 
and discontented hordes of immigrants who are crowding our shores 
in these latter days, either as anarchists who, like shedding snakes, 
strike blindly and viciously at everything which moves, or like the 
Socialists, whose aim is seemingly to bring all human endeavor to the 

XVI 11 

common level of mediocrity. Should the safety of our institutions 
ever be endangered, I prophesy that these men of the foothills and 
mountains of the South will be the strongest guarantee of law and 
order." These words may be fitly and without immodesty claimed to 
be applicable to the people of the Eastern Shore. The Appalachians 
long isolated, and still in large degree isolate, the people of whom 
he spoke; and until in recent years the network of railways on the 
Eastern Shore was developed, the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays 
isolated the Peninsula which they form. In both regions the pure 
blood of our English ancestry has remained almost unmixed. In 
the plain and simple homes, such as Elihu Root referred to in his 
eloquent address to the 1915 Constitutional Convention of New York, 
"truth and honor dwelt," and from these homes. North and South, 
have come some of the ablest men and purest patriots who in civil 
or military life have devoted themselves to the service of their country. 

Chestertown, Md., 
November i, iqi6 




KING CHARLES I of England gave explicit instructions to the 
Governor of Virginia in 1627 to procure for him exact informa- 
tion concerning the bays and rivers of the country adjacent to the 
settlement on the James River. William Claiborne, then Secretary 
of the Virginia Colony, was commissioned by the governor to explore 
the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. While thus engaged, Clai- 
borne traded with the Indians for furs on what is now called Kent 
Island. Later a settlement was made there and a regular trading port 
established. The name "Kentish Isle" being given by Claiborne to 
that island led the Calverts when they came into possession of the 
Province of Maryland in 1634 to name the whole of the upper Eastern 
Shore, lying north of the Choptank River, the "/^/e of Kent.^^ 

Eight years later, August 2, 1642, mention is made in the colonial 
records of the Province of the "Sheriff of Kent County." This record 
indicates the creation of the county, it being the second civil division 
of the Province of Maryland. The members of the Colonial Assembly 
represented at that time, at St. Mary's City, only two civil divisions 
of the Province, St. Mary's and Isle of Kent County. By colonial 
records showing the appointment in 1661 of commissioners "for that 
part of the Province lying south of the Choptank River newly seated 
called the Eastern Shore," which territory was later divided into the 
Counties of Somerset and Dorchester, it is shown conclusively that 
all of that part of the Province on the south side of the Choptank was 
the "Eastern Shore" and all on the north side was then known as 
the ^'Isle of Kent." From this part of Maryland, known as the ''Isle 
of Kent," the following counties were created : Kent County, in 1642; 
part of Baltimore County, seventeen years later, in 1659; Talbot 
County, twenty years later, in 1662; Cecil County, thirty-two years 
later, in 1674, (Cecil was made of that part of Baltimore County 



officially designated as "East Baltimore County" that lay on the 
eastern side of the Chesapeake Bay) ; Queen Anne's County, sixty- 
four years later, in 1706, (it being created from the upper part of 
Talbot County); and Caroline County, 131 years later, in 1773, (it 
being formed of parts of Dorchester and Queen Anne's Counties). 

Through lack of accurate knowledge of the geography of the Prov- 
ince when the proclamation erecting Cecil County was issued, in 
1674, Kent County was limited to about half its present area. This 
arrangement proved so inconvenient for the administration of its 
judicial affairs that upon petition to the Assembly the Sassafras River 
was in 1 706 made the boundary between Kent and Cecil Counties. 

Six years after Claiborne first traded with the Indians on the 
"Kentish Isle" the colonists led by Leonard Calvert landed, on March 
25, 1634, at St. Mary's and took possession of the land in accordance 
with the provisions laid down in the charter which King Charles 
gave to Cecilius Calvert. This charter made Cecilius Calvert the 
absolute owner of all the land lying within the bounds of the Province 
of Maryland, and to encourage people to come to the Province to 
settle the land was "granted" or given to them subject to a small 
rent payable in two equal instalments at the Feast of the Annuncia- 
tion and at Michaelmas each year to Lord Baltimore's representative 
in the Province. The conditions under which these grants were made 
changed from time to time, but the first grants were based on one 
hundred acres of land for each and every person brought into the 
colony by the person applying for land. Each bore the name selected 
by the colonist and very often was that of the locality in England 
from which he came; thus, for instance, we find large tracts granted 
in Kent County under the following names: "Arcadia," "Bucking- 
ham," "Drayton," "Denbeigh," "Essex," "Fairlee," "The Grange," 
"Hinchingham," ''Kimbolton," "Lynn," "Pentridge, " "Ratcliffe," 
"Suffolk," "Stepney," "Thornton," "Tolchester," "Wickcliffe" and 

Following long-established custom in England, the Proprietary 
created in the counties of the Province courts baron and courts leet. 
To Col. Edward Carter, then of Nansemond County, Virginia, Lord 
Baltimore granted "Worton," a tract of land containing 2,300 acres, 
lying between Still Pond Creek and Worton Creek and bounded on 


the west by the Chesapeake Bay. Incident to this tract was the 
first court baron in Kent, and the following clause is from the original 
record : 

And we do hereby erect the said Two Thousand Three hundred Acres 
into a Manner by the name of Worton Mannor together with a Court- 
Baron and all things belonging thereunto by the law of the Custom of 

"Worton Manor" was early acquired by John Gale, whose descen- 
dants lived there for over a century. 

It was on "Huntingfield," a grant of 1,200 acres, owned by Major 
James Ringgold, that the first county court house was built at "New 
Yarmouth," in Kent County. Through the influence of this early 
colonist the town was laid out on the Gray's Inn Creek side of "Hunt- 
ingfield" prior to 1680, and true to his ancestral home he named the 
place "New Yarmouth." This original county-seat of Kent took on 
great activities and vessels traded regularly with the English ports. 
From its shipyards large vessels for ocean traffic were launched. 

Along the Chester River and its tributaries the land became thickly 
settled all the way up to Crumpton at "Collister's Ferry." On both 
sides of the river large estates were granted and the production of 
tobacco increased to such an extent that it was found necessary to 
establish a port of entry farther up the river in addition to "New 
Yarmouth"; this was done at the present site of Chestertown. In 
i6q6 the Assembly authorized the Commissioners of Kent County to 
purchase three acres of land "whereon to build a court house." It 
was on the grant called "Stepney" that the court house was built, 
for in 1708 the Assembly authorized the purchase of "fifty acres of 
land at Chester Ferry near the place where the old court house stood," 
which was to be "laid out and divided into one hundred lots" and to 
be called Chestertown. The commissioners entrusted to lay out the 
town were John Carvill, Daniel Pearce, Thomas Covington, Edward 
Bathurst, Arthur Miller, William Bateman, Philip Hoskins and 
Capts. William Potts and Edward Plastoe. "Stepney," a grant of 500 
acres, was first surveyed for Thomas Bovery, who died without heirs, 
and upon the escheating of the land to the Proprietary it was 
surveyed again for Mary Bateman. In an old deed to Thomas 



Joyce, innholder, from Benjamin Blackleach, cordwainer, loo acres 
of "Stepney" is described as being on the west side of Chester 
River at "Thomas Seward's Landing." Thomas Joyce paid 7,000 
pounds of tobacco for the 100 acres — a pound being worth about 
eight cents. 

The removal of the county-seat to Chestertown from "New Yar- 
mouth" was soon followed by an order of the Council in 1707 which 
reads as follows: "All towns, rivers, creeks and coves in Cecil, Kent 
and Queen Anne's Counties (except Kent Island) shall be deemed 
members of Chester Town in Chester River." With this order "New 
Yarmouth" lost its last chance to become a permanent town and today 
only a few scattered bricks can be seen as evidence of its ever having 
existed. Other towns were authorized to be laid out; among them 
were "Shrewsbury Town" on "Meeting House Point" on the Sassafras 
River; "Gloucester Town " on Cackaway Point on Langford Bay, 
and "Milford Town" on Swan Creek. These towns never became 
more than landing places and today no evidence of them is to be 
found. For the better handling of the tobacco trade, the Assembly 
authorized the purchase of half an acre of ground at convenient land- 
ing places along the rivers and creeks, to be called "Public Landings," 
"where tobacco may be brought in order to be waterbourne and con- 
veyed to any town of this province." Upon this land the commis- 
sioners were authorized "to build rowling [rolling] houses not to lie 
above two furlongs from the water." The tobacco in casks was rolled 
from the plantations to the landings. 

On April 3, 1 701 , a report sent to the Commissioners of Trade and 
Plantations in England by Governor Francis Nicholson shows Kent 
County at that time had 707 taxable inhabitants and 1,223 others 
not subject to a tax, a total of 1,930 inhabitants. This report was 
subdivided to show masters of families, freewomen and servants, free 
children, (boys and girls) ; free men and serving men, servants, (boys 
and girls), and slaves. In 171 2 there were 2,886 inhabitants in the 

Kent County was divided into hundreds and the names in i6q6 
were Town, Lower Chester River, Lower Langford, Swan Creek, 
Island, Eastern Neck, and Chester Upper Hundred. In each of these 
hundreds companies of soldiers were organized for protection against 



the Indians. In 1705 the Indians had been giving the Province con- 
siderable trouble and in that year the Assembly designated Philemon 
Lloyd, of Talbot, Nathaniel Hynson, of Kent, and Thomas Addison as 
commissioners to go to "Conestoga or farther northward" to treat 
with the "Senequis" Indians. When the French and Indian War 
broke out Kent furnished her quota. 

In 1775 it was seen that war with Great Britain was inevitable and 
an Association of the Freemen of Maryland was formed, all of the 
counties being represented. Delegates were chosen by the several 
counties to the Provincial Convention which met at Annapolis on 
Wednesday, the 26th day of July, 1775, and appointed a committee 
to consider ways and means to put the Province into the best state of 
defense. The following were the Kent delegates to the Convention : 
William Ringgold, Col. Richard Lloyd, Thomas Smythe, Joseph Earle 
and Thomas Bedingfield Hands. Chestertown became the most im- 
portant place on the Eastern Shore for the accumulation of muni- 
tions and firearms. Elisha Winters, a large manufacturer of firearms, 
of that town, was designated by the Council of Safety the official 
gunsmith for the Eastern Shore. The Council of Safety consisted of 
eight men from the Eastern Shore and a like number from the Western 
Shore. So important had Chestertown become in 1775 that the 
Council of Safety met there on the 20th of October of that year and 
remained in session there for about a week. The Kent muster rolls bear 
names of about i , 500 of her citizens who volunteered for service against 
Great Britain. These volunteers composed the Thirteenth Battalion, 
commanded by Col. Richard Graves, and the Twenty-seventh 
Battalion, under Col. Donaldson Yeates. 

When the call for minute men was issued in January, 1776, Kent 
County furnished a company consisting of four officers, four sergeants, 
four corporals, one surgeon, one fifer, one drummer and seventy men 
"fit for duty." Capt. William Henry was in command. They 
marched from Chestertown on the 2qth of January, 1776, and reached 
Northampton Court House, Virginia, on the 12th of February. The 
following report to the Council of Safety at Annapolis is interesting to 
Kent countians as it shows that Kent County's minute men were the 
first to reach Northampton, where they had gone to assist the Vir- 
ginia troops repel the threatened British invasion: 


Headquarters, Northampton C. H., Va. 

Feby. 28th, 1776. 
Honble. Gent' I. 

The company from Kent County arrived here on the 1 2th instant 
and the company from Queen Anne's County on the 14th in good health 
and spirits. . . . 

Gent'l yr. Obd't. hble. Servt's, 

Council of Safety WILLIAM HENRY 

Annapolis, Md. 

Capt. James Kent was in command of the Queen Anne's company. 

At Chestertown in 1 707 the first free school in Kent County was 
established, it being under the supervision of the rector of St. Paul's 
Parish. It was the nucleus which later, 1723, developed into the 
Kent County Free School and still later, 1782, into that greater 
institution of learning — ^Washington College. 

No historical sketch of this old county would be complete without 
mention of the Quakers who at one time formed a large part of the 
population. Their meeting house, which is in ruins now, stands near 
Lynch. It was built about i6qo. 

A well-known port of entry twenty years prior to the laying out of 
Baltimore, Chestertown was the center of the trade for the upper 
Eastern Shore. Here the vessels came with the tea and supplies from 
foreign lands and loaded tobacco and furs for England. Like Annap- 
olis on the Western Shore, Chestertown was the center of the social 
world of the Eastern Shore, and to read of delightful entertaining by 
the "Colonial Dames" is one of the pleasures of occasional contempla- 
tion of the history of this quaint old town. Chestertown is now a 
prosperous town, and is on the finest roads in the United States. 
These roads cover the whole County of Kent and all of the county 
can be reached by automobiles. 

Gracious, dignified, simple in habits, elegant in tastes, there was 
no higher type of civilization than that exemplified by the residents 
of Kent County in the colonial days. 


Built 1765 

NO finer example of colonial homes of Maryland can be found in 
the State than that of Wilbur W. Hubbard, banker, fertilizer 
manufacturer, and financier. Here Mr. and Mrs. Hubbard entertain 
in true Eastern Shore style, and their many friends, including artists 
and architects of distinction, claim this beautiful residence to be a fine 
example of restoration work and a monument to the intelligent appre- 
ciation and good taste of Mr. Hubbard and his wife. 

From the time the house was built to the present day, a number 
of distinguished men in State and nation have dwelt within its 
historic walls. In searching the title chain you will learn of Col. 
Thomas Smythe, the first merchant in Chestertown, one of the 
Justices of the Kent County Court from 1757 to 1769, a member 
of the Provincial Convention in 1776, and of the Association of 
Freemen of Maryland. He was a member of the Council of Safety 
and did splendid service during the Revolutionary War in providing 
munitions for the troops enlisted in Kent. Col. Smythe died at 
"Trumpington," having lived to the great age of ninety-one 
years. You will learn of the distinguished lawyer, Thomas Bed- 




tiest rivers of the Province of 

ingfield Hands; of the two 
United States Senators who 
lived there — Robert Wright, 
Senator from 1801 to 1806, 
when he resigned his seat in 
the Senate to become Governor 
of Maryland, and Ezekiel F. 
Chambers, Senator from 1826 
to 1834, and afterward Chief 
Judge of the Second Judicial 
District . 1 1 was here that Judge 
Chambers lived for forty- 
eight years and entertained 
many distinguished men of his 

As in some charming old 
tome we have the story of the 
County of Kent, as well as that 
of Chestertown, woven closely 
around this old house. The 
story has for its setting a quaint 
old English colony town, which 
was laid out on the banks of the 
Chester River, one of the pret- 
Maryland. From the street we 

approach the house over pavement laid 140 years ago and through 
which the violets push up their charming flowers. The boxwood hugs 
up close to the old English brick of which the house is built. The big 
brass knocker on the front door; the wide hall with its keystoned 
arches and mahogany stairway spreading its leisurely length past 
the grandfather's clock; the hand-carving on walls and mantels; 
the doors with dropped silver handles and broken pediment above, 
where might well be placed the bust of Pallas; mahogany furniture, 
spinet, dulcimer, and low-boy haunting the spots where Thomas 
Smythe himself might have placed them. These are the evidences 
that impress you with the colonial atmosphere of this old home. The 
accompanying illustrations give not only the river view of the mas- 


sive porch, with Ionic columns, 
but also the approach through 
the iron gates. Truly, Mr. Hub- 
bard, with his widely known 
business ability, has, in restor- 
ing this old mansion, been a 
more beneficent owner than any 
since its builder, and has estab- 
lished one of the most delight- 
ful homes of the Eastern Shore. 

Mr. Hubbard is descended 
from Adley Hubbard, who came 
to Maryland from Essex 
County, England, in 1660. He 
received a grant of a large tract of land on the Sassafras River in 
what is now known as Cecil County. He called his grant ' 'Hubbard's 
Delight," more recently known as ^''Ward's Hill." 

Mrs. Hubbard is descended from Col. 'William Ross, Col. "William 
Evans and Major Glenn, Revolutionary Officers. She is the daughter 
of Judge James Evans Ross, whose ancestors belonged to Clan Ross 
of Scotland. 


Surveyed 1682 

CAMELL'S WORTHMORE" originally contained 1,150 acres of 
land and was surveyed in 1682. It is now the property of the 
Rev. Sewell S. Hepburn, a minister of the Protestant Episcopal 
Church, who was rector for a number of years of the old parish of 
St. Paul's, Kent, and still laboring in the Master's vineyard as rector 
of Christ Church, L U. 

Around the house the boxwood hedge is laid out like the old 
English gardens and the beautiful wainscoting and hand-carved doors 
and mantels of the house attest the elegant taste of the Angiers, the 
builders and owners in Revolutionary times. John Angier bought 
this property from James Tilghman, of Philadelphia, 1767, and left 
it to his son, Thomas, who sold it to his brother, Unit Angier, at 
whose death the property passed into the hands of Thomas Hepburn. 
Mary, his daughter, dying intestate, the estate became the property 
of the present owner. 

James Tilghman was Chancellor of the Province of Pennsylvania 
and father of Col. Tench Tilghman, Washington's aide-de-camp. In 



old St. Paul's Churchyard James Tilghman lies buried and his tomb 
is plainly marked, giving some of the history of his life. 

The last of the Anglers who owned "Camell's Worthmore" lies 
buried in the garden back of the old colonial home. The Angier, 
Brooks and Medford families were large landowners and with few 
exceptions were members of the parish in which they lived — Shrews- 

"Thornton," i,ooo acres, the Brooks property, and "Bucking- 
ham," another large grant, 1,300 acres, were among grants in this 
neighborhood that date back to the very earliest in the Province. 
"Drayton," a manor of 1,200 acres, granted Charles James in 1677, 
and long the home of the Janvier family, was not far distant to the 
west. This same Charles James received a grant for 100 acres in 1687 
which he gave to the vestry of Shrewsbury Parish. This property 
was called "Mayford." 

' 'Denbigh, ' ' 700 acres, granted in 1 67 1 , at the head of Churn Creek, 
and "The Grange," qoo acres, granted the same year to John James, 
on the north side of Still Pond Creek, were famous colonial homes in 
their day. 

In 1765 the Assembly passed an act erecting Chester Parish out 
of St. Paul's and Shrewsbury Parishes, authorizing the purchase of 
two acres of land "at or near the cross roads at the place called I. U. 
and a parish church to be built on the land. The land and church to 
cost not more than 130,000 pounds of tobacco." The chapel of ease 
was already built at Chestertown. The first vestrymen were : Aaron 
Alford, Macall Medford, Joseph Rasin, Thomas Perkins, St. Leger 
Everett and William Ringgold. 



W ^12 

Built 1708 

COMMANDING a splendid view of the upper Chester River and 
the surrounding country, this rare example of Dutch architecture 
that has been handed down to the present generation is now the home 
of Dr. F. N. Sheppard and his wife. Mrs. Sheppard is a descendant 
of Alethia, daughter of the William Comegys who built the house 
and who was the second son of Cornelius Comegys, the emigrant. 
The woodwork and the wainscoting are very pretty and the 
great fireplaces suggest the many famous dinners served there to 
guests in the long ago. It is a charming old home and the lawn, 
originally terraced and hedged with boxwood, extends to the waters 
of the Chester River. At the time the house was built there was a 
ferry, ("Collister's Ferry"), across the Chester River at this point and 
just across the river in Queen Anne's County William Crump took 
up a large tract of land he called "Crumpton." It was for this prop- 
erty that the present village of Crumpton was named. 

For years there had been a well-established route for travel from 



"Williamstadt," (now Oxford), Talbot County, to Philadelphia and the 
Northern settlements. That route led past the old Wye Church in 
Talbot, through Queen Anne's to Crumpton, over the Chester to Kent, 
across that county to Georgetown on the Sassafras, over the Sassafras 
and by way of Bohemia to "Head of Elk," and so to Philadelphia. 

Cornelius Comegys, the emigrant, petitioned the Maryland Pro- 
vincial Assembly in 1671 to be made a naturalized citizen. In his 
petition he states that he was born in "Lexmont, belonging to the 
states of Holland." Millimety, his wife, was born in Barnevelt ''under 
the domain of the said states," and Cornelius, their oldest son, was 
born in Virginia. Their other children, Elizabeth, William and 
Hannah, were born in Maryland. Cornelius Comegys emigrated to 
Virginia about 1660 and came to Maryland about 1663, receiving his 
first grant, 400 acres, called "Comegys Delight," in that year. Several 
thousand acres were later acquired by him. Some of the tracts bore 
the following names: "The Grove," "Vienna," "Adventure," "Fer- 
nando," "Sewall" or "Utreck," "Poplar Plains," "Andover" and 
"Comegys' Choice." He was made a member of the Commissioners 
of Justice for Kent County in 1676 and was evidently a man of large 

Close family ties connected the descendants of Cornelius Comegys 
with the Wallis family, also with the Everett and Thomas families. 
To Nathaniel Everett was granted "Fair Harbor," "Adventure" and 
"New Forest." To Samuel Wallis, "Partnership," "Conclusion" and 
"Boothbie's Fortune" were granted. In 1659 William Thomas was 
granted "Kedgerton," 1,000 acres, and "Mt. Hermon," 8qo acres. 
Jesse Comegys, an officer in the Revolutionary War, son of William 
and Ann Cosden Comegys, married Mary Everett. They had three 
children, Cornelius, who was a lieutenant in the U. S. Army; Maria, 
who married Augustine Boyer; and Sarah Everett Comegys, who 
married John Wallis. Their eldest son, Francis Ludolph Wallis, was 
commissioned August 6, 1846, captain of the Columbia Hussars, a 
company of cavalry attached to the Eighth Regimental Cavalry 
District, Maryland Militia. Captain Wallis married Emily Thomas, 
daughter of William Thomas, of ' 'Mt . Hermon. ' ' Their only daughter, 
Mrs. Elizabeth Thomas Wallis Schutt, of Washington, inherited "Mt. 
Hermon" and still owns the property, 


Built 1743 

ESPECIALLY interesting is this old farm to those fond of stories 
of the wars with Great Britain, for here in the moonlight of a 
hot summer night, August 31, 18 14, in the early morning hours was 
fought a battle that was singularly important — the Battle of Caulk's 
Field. Capt. Sir Peter Parker, on his ship, the Menelaus, was sent 
up the bay to capture if possible the Kent County troops, known as 
the Twenty-first Regiment of Maryland Militia, then under the com- 
mand of Col. Philip Reed. During the engagement Captain Parker 
received a mortal wound and died while being carried on the shoulders 
of his men back to his ship. Fourteen of the British soldiers were 
killed and twenty-nine wounded. Only three of Colonel Reed's men 
were wounded, and those not seriously. The old "Caulk's Field" house, 
now owned by E. J. Watson, was built in 1743, and on the east gable 
the date is traced in the wall with the brick. 


Built 171 3 

SURROUNDED by giant oaks and sycamores, by boxwood and 
fragrant pines, by tombs of the humble and the rich, St. 
Paul's stands today a real monument to the energy and religious 
zeal of those Church of England members who settled in Kent in the 
colonial days of more than 200 years ago. Rev. Dr. Ethan Allen in 
his manuscript covering the early Church in Maryland says: "St. 
Paul's Parish was organized in 1692, but as early perhaps as 1650 
there was a church called St. Peter's at Church Creek, [Kent], near 
Gray's Inn Creek, two miles from Chester River near the town of 
New Yarmouth, which was on land sold by Major Thomas Ringgold. 
A burial ground is there and graves well arched over." 

The building of St. Paul's Church on the present spot in 1713 was 
to replace an old structure which had stood on the site ever since the 



"Establishment." Whether any church had existed there prior to 
that date is a matter yet undetermined. At the time the English 
Church was established Thomas Smythe, of "Trumpington;" William 
Frisby, of "Hinchingham;" Charles Tilden, of "Great Oak Manor;" 
Michael Miller, of "Arcadia;" Hans Hanson, of "Kimbolton," and 
Simon Wilmer, of "Stepney," were among the principal freeholders in 
the parish and they were elected as vestrymen. They lived many 
miles from St. Paul's; in fact, all sections of this old parish were 
represented in the selection of these gentlemen as vestrymen. 

St. Paul's was one of the thirty parishes that were laid out in the 
Province of Maryland in accordance with the Act of Assembly of 1692. 
This parish, with that of Shrewsbury, covered all the territory now 
within the geographical bounds of Kent County. The dividing line 
between these two parishes was at that time taken as the boundary 
between Cecil County and Kent County and to determine the loca- 
tion of this line an Act of Assembly was passed April 4, 1697, authoriz- 
ing a survey to be made. Capt. Edward Blay, representing Shrews- 
bury, and Michael Miller, representing St. Paul's, were appointed to 
be present at the running of the line between the parishes. They were 
to report to the Assembly "with a fair demonstration of the division 
line which is to be lined out by a line of marked trees." Simon Will- 
more, [Wilmer], then Surveyor of Kent County, was to do the survey- 
ing. They determined upon a line running from what is now known 
as Goose Hill to the headwaters of Churn Creek. 

There is an old building called the "Vestry House," which has the 
date 1 766 worked in the bricks of the gable, that stands at the western 
entrance of the cemetery. The land on which this old building stands 
was bought of Thomas Ringgold and the deed recites — "this five acres 
of land is bought for the benefit of air and shade to the parishioners 
and their horses round the church in attendance on divine service 
and for the building of a vestry house thereon and any other parish 
use whatever." 


Surveyed 1659 

HINCHINGHAM" was granted in 1659 to Thomas Hynson for 
2,200 acres, lying along the shore of the Chesapeake Bay and 
extending north from Swan Creek. Thomas Hynson was then in the 
3qth year of his age and so well liked by the Governor of the Prov- 
ince that in 1 65 5 he had been made High Sheriff of the County of Kent. 
He lived on Eastern Neck Island and with his friend, Joseph Wickes, 
had received grants for all the land on that island. In all Thomas 
Hynson owned 3,600 acres of land in Kent County. It was at his 
house that court was held for Kent County, February i, 1655, 
the following Justices being present: Philip Connor, Capt. Joseph 
Wickes, Thomas Ringgold, Capt. John Russell, William Elliott and 
Henry Carvil. Thomas Hynson's son, Thomas Hynson, Jr., was made 
Sheriff of Talbot County, April 20, 1666. With the granting of the 
Manor of ''Hinchingham" to Thomas Hynson he became interested 
in that section of the county and it is supposed made it his home for 
at least a few of his latter years. 

Along the banks of Swan Creek quite a number of places were 



granted and from Eastern Neck Island a road was made in 1675 to 
Swan Creek Road by Isaac Winchester, who had been appointed over- 
seer of highways for the Lower Hundred. The road was ten feet wide 
and made "cleared and good from Joseph Wickes' house to Swan 
Creek roade." This was probably the first road built in the county 
of this width that covered so many miles. It led north from Eastern 
Neck Island through the present town of Rock Hall and thence across 
the head of Swan Creek. 

From "Hinchingham" was sold off several tracts prior to 1722 
and one of these, 700 acres, was bought by William Frisby, a member 
of the vestry of St. Paul's Parish. William Frisby was a man of 
great prominence in the Colony and to him the Maryland Assembly 
entrusted the mission of presenting to the Lord Bishop of London 
and the Commissioners of Trade and Plantations at London, England, 
for their approval, the copy of the Act of Assembly establishing the 
Church of England by law in the Province of Maryland. To Nathaniel 
Hynson, High Sheriff of the County of Kent, in 17 18, 320 acres were 
sold by Thomas Tolley, who had bought it from Thomas Hynson. 
This property, now owned by Mrs. Harriet Westcott Hill, is part of 
"Hinchingham" and came to her from her father, the late George B. 
Westcott, of Chestertown. 

In the neighborhood of "Hinchingham" are several tracts of land 
the names of which are still familiar. "Great Oak Manor," 2,000 
acres, surveyed 15th of August, 1658, for Josiah Fendall; "Arcadia," 
1,500 acres, surveyed i8th of May, 1680, for Michael Miller; "Buck 
Neck," 550 acres, surveyed ist of August, 1666, for Joseph Hopkins. 

"Broadnox," a large tract of land on Langford Bay, was the prop- 
erty of Thomas Broadnox, a man of considerable importance in the 
earliest days of Kent. From him the property was acquired by Rob- 
ert Dunn, a friend and adviser of the Proprietary. This old place, 
with its manor house built about 1 708, remained in the Dunn family 
until long after the Revolutionary War. Robert Dunn was a vestry- 
man of St. Paul's Church. 


Surveyed i68i 

Surveyed i6qi 

PEARCE LAMB came into Kent with the first of the settlers; in 
1683 he obtained a grant for "Lamb's Range," and in 1694 another 
grant for a tract which he named "Lamb's Meadows." These two 
tracts were in the possession of Pearce Lamb's son, Francis Lamb, 
when he married Rosamund Beck at St. Paul's Church in Kent 
County, April 6, 1714, one year after the church was built. 

One of the descendants of Francis and Rosamund Lamb is 
B. Howard Haman, of the Baltimore bar. Mr. Haman's Kent County 
residence is "Suffolk," surveyed for 742 acres in 1681 for James 
Stavely. It is situated about two miles from Kennedy ville. For many 
years it was the home of Mr. Haman's grandfather, the late Benja- 
min Howard, a descendant of Matthew Howard, of Anne Arundel 
County, who came to Kent in 1725 and lived at ''Howard's Adven- 
ture." Matthew Howard's ancestor came to Maryland from Virginia 
about 1660. Mr. Haman has for years been the foremost advocate 
of scientific oyster culture in Maryland as a means of conserving 
and vastly increasing the yield of the public fisheries and supplement- 



ing the revenues of the State. He was the author of the law under 
which the oyster beds of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries were 
first surveyed and mapped by the State and federal governments. 
Mr. Haman's father was Dr. James Haman, a native of Delaware, 
and a graduate of the Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. Dr. 
Haman was associated for several years in the practice of medicine 
with Dr. William S. Maxwell, of Still Pond, Kent County. Dr. 
Haman's paternal grandfather was a yeoman farmer in the East 
Riding of Yorkshire, England, who emigrated to America from Hull 
about i/Sq. 

This part of Kent County has several large grants of the earliest 
dates, among them being "Stone Town," granted in 1658 to Richard 
Stone for 500 acres. In 1722, 100 acres of this property belonged to 
Philip Rasin. Mr. and Mrs. J. Harry Price now own and reside at 

"Suffolk" lies in Shrewsbury Parish, near the old parish church. 
In the old churchyard is buried Gen. John Cadwallader, the devoted 
personal friend of George Washington. 



Surveyed 1658 

AT the extreme end of Kent County where the Chester River joins 
L the Chesapeake Bay stands today an old home for the charms 
of which the traveler would have far to seek to find the equal. Four 
hundred acres were in the original grant to Thomas South when it 
was surveyed for him in September, 1658. 

"Trumpington" is now owned by Mrs. Julia Willson Ringgold and 
Natilie O. Willson, her brother, they having inherited the place at 
the death of their father, Richard Bennett Willson. His mother was 
Anna Maria Smythe, daughter of Col. Thomas Smythe, the third of 
his line as owner of "Trumpington." Thomas Smythe, the first in 
Kent, was a member of the vestry of St. Paul's Parish and gave to 
that parish, 1706, a beautiful silver chalice and patten with the 
initials "T. S." engraved on them. These two pieces are in use in 
that church today. Thomas Smythe died in 171Q and left his prop- 
erty, of which "Trumpington" was a part, to his son and daughter, 
Thomas and Martha. He also owned a lot in the old town of ''New 
Yarmouth," part of "Hinchingham" and the "Plaines." 


Surveyed 1658 

W'ICKCLIFFE" is one of the most interesting properties in 
Kent and is now owned by James W. Stevens, a native of Kent. 
In 1658 a grant was issued to Joseph Wickes and Thomas Hynson 
jointly for 800 acres by the name of "Wickcliffe," described as "lying 
on the east side of the Eastern Bay called Eastern Neck." Thomas 
Hynson's heirs surrendered their rights in the property in later years 
for a consideration and it was from the direct heirs of Joseph Wickes 
that Mr. Stevens bought the estate, it having been in the Wickes 
family for about 240 years. 

From the very earliest records of the Isle of Kent down to the 
present day, with numerous representatives, the Wickeses have 
held a prominent place in the affairs of Maryland. It is generally 
supposed that Joseph Wickes was of Puritan stock, but no records 
are at hand to prove this. At the age of thirty-six, in 1656, he was 
appointed one of the Justices of the County of Kent. Twenty years 
after, 1676, he was of the "quorum," John Hynson and Cornelius 
Comegys sitting with him in court. 



With Thomas Hynson, Joseph Wickes was granted all the land 
that comprised Eastern Neck Island — "Wickcliffe," 800 acres, "The 
Market Place" and "Partnership," in all, according to a resurvey in 
1674, 1,740 acres. 

The geographical location of "Wickcliffe" is ideal, lying at the 
extreme end of Eastern Neck Island, its shores washed by the Chester 
River. From the broad veranda miles and miles of the Chesapeake 
Bay and Chester River afford a picture rarely equaled in Maryland. 

Here in the good old Colony days the swan, wild goose and canvas- 
back duck tempted the visitor at the hospitable table of the Wickeses. 
No less frequently upon this table were to be found the diamond-back 
terrapin, the oyster and soft crab, cooked and flavored by old 
"mammy," whose excellence in the art had been reached by constant 
practice in endeavoring to tempt the appetites of the "marster" and 

As vessels came into the Chester River from England or France 
or Guinea, they passed close to this old house and the messages 
brought over from the mother country made the sails of the ships a 
doubly welcome sight. On a point of land lying well within the mouth 
of the Chester River and projecting from the shores of "Wickcliffe" 
is a clump of virgin pine trees which can be seen for miles. This point 
is known as Hail Point, so called from the fact that Lord Baltimore's 
naval officer in those early days had all vessels stop here before going 
up the river. This was done for inspection, both for customs and for 




TALBOT COUNTY, named for Grace Talbot, a sister of Cecilius 
Calvert and wife of Sir Robert Talbot, was erected about 1662, 
though the authority for creating the county has never been found. 
It embraced all of the territory south and east of the Chester River, 
the Kent Narrows, Eastern Bay and Chesapeake Bay and north of 
the Choptank River. These boundaries were confirmed by the lines 
followed in laying out the parishes of the county in accordance with 
an Act of the Assembly of 1692, and not until 1706 did they change, 
save, in 1695, when Kent Island was taken into Talbot County. It 
will be interesting to the reader to quote in part the Act of 1706, 
Chapter 3, which gave to the county its present lines: 

That the bounds of Talbot County shall contain Sharp's Island, 
Choptank Island and all the land on the north side of the Great 
Choptank River, and extend itself up the said river to Tuckahoe 
Bridge, and from thence with a straight line to the mill commonly 
called and known by the name of Swetnam's Mill, and thence down 
the south side of Wye River to the mouth thereof, and from thence 
down the bay (including Poplar Island) to the first beginning, also 
Bruff's Island in Wye River. 

Whether by proclamation or by Act of Assembly this county was 
erected it is not now known, but on February 18, 1662, Moses Stag- 
well was made Sheriff of the county and the machinery of the county 
government began to be assembled around this chief officer. In pur- 
suance of the usual form issued to the Sheriff he called together all 
the freemen of the county to elect deputies to the General Assembly. 
They then elected four delegates of their peers. The Governor 
appointed the new commissioners of justice and their appointment 
was confirmed by the Assembly. They were Lieut. Richard Woolman, 
James Ringgold, William Coursey, Thomas South, Seth Forster and 



Thomas Hynson, Junior. Four were of the "quorum," any one of 
whom with two of the other Justices held court for the trial of those 
cases that were not properly heard by the Council sitting at St. Mary's 
City, which at that time constituted the highest court of the Province. 

In order to further provide for the machinery of a county, Talbot 
was divided into nine "hundreds" as follows: Tred Haven, BoUing- 
brooke. Mill, Tuckahoe, Worrell, Bay, Island, Chester and Lower 
Hundred of Kent Island. The localities now known as Miles River 
Neck and Wye Island were "Island Hundred," and "Bay Hundred" 
is to this day a voting district of this old county. 

To the student of the history of the Province this particular 
county seems to draw around its delightful colonial period the charm 
of an enchanted land. Beautiful rivers washed its shores. The wealth 
of foliage, the deep green of the fields and the sparkling blue of the 
waters gave a charming background to the inbound ship as she came 
up stream in the bright sunshine with every sheet drawing, her sails 
filled with the strong breeze of the Chesapeake. We can, in the mind's 
eye, picture the visitors disembarking over the side of the ship while 
those on shore wave to them a welcome made genuine by the long 
years of separation from friends and relations. It is to such pictures 
of delightful surroundings that Talbot owes the recent migration to 
her shores of the many wealthy and cultured people who in these 
modern times of "hurry and drive" have bought there old manors 
and there, in addition to the natural delights, find for neighbors a 
country folk who have descended from the gentry of the colonial days. 

Talbot, like her sister county, Dorchester, has lost much of her 
island area by subsidence and by the encroachment of the waters of 
the bay. Poplar Island and Sharp's Island are nearly covered by 
water and much of the land of Tilghman's Island has disappeared 
into the waters of the Chesapeake. So, today, where fields of grain 
and orchards of fruit-bearing trees once pleased the eye of the farmers, 
are miles of shallow water or marshes in which the muskrat builds 
his "house" and the redwing swings in the balmy breeze perched upon 
the tall cat-tails that grow luxuriantly there. The submerging of these 
lands has been going on very slowly for years and the loss to the 
county in area has been very considerable. The farm lands are rich 
and produce fine crops of wheat, corn, potatoes and hay. The raising 



of blooded horses, cattle and sheep has its important place in the 
agricultural life of the county and it is a pleasing sight to see the green 
fields dotted with flocks of thoroughbred cattle and sheep. 

In 1679 provision was made for a permanent court house for 
Talbot. The following record of that year is of interest : "The Com- 
missioners have ordered Elizabeth Winkles to have the court house 
which is now used to keep court in, with the room adjoining until 
the latter end of November next, in consideration we, the Commis- 
sioners are to allow her as we think fit." Continuing, the record 
further states: "The Court hath ordered Major William Coursey to 
treat with Richard Swetnam to come to the aforesaid house to keep 
ordinary, [tavern], as also to treat concerning the building of a court 
house." Major Coursey must have succeeded in his mission, for we 
find in 1680 that a court house was built upon land purchased of 
Jonathan Hopkinson which was located on Skipton Creek, near the 
headwaters of the Wye River. In this building court was held for the 
first time in 1682 or 1683. Later a "prison" was built. Around these 
two buildings there grew up quite a village which was called by Act 
of the Assembly of 1686 "Yorke," evidently in honor of the ancient 
town in England of the same name. 

Oxford was laid out in accordance with the "Act for the erection 
of necessary towns" in 1684, and in 1707 the county-seat was moved 
to that thriving town. The last session of the court at ' 'Yorke" was 
on the 1 7th day of June, 1 707, and the first session at Oxford was held 
on the iqth of August following. Oxford became a port of entry and 
to its harbor vessels came from England, Guinea, Barbadoes and the 
ports along the Atlantic Coast. In 1726 Samuel Chamberlaine be- 
came the royal Naval Officer and he was succeeded at his death by 
his son, Thomas, and he by his brother, Samuel. With the removal 
of the county court to Oxford , the days of ' ' Yorke' ' were numbered . I n 
1 7 10 we find the court again ready to move to a more favorable loca- 
tion and there was talk of moving to ''Pitt's Bridge." This bridge 
spanned a small body of water which was a branch of Third Haven, 
[Tred Avon], River. Of recent years this bridge has been known as 
the Tanyard Bridge, so called for a tannery once located there. 
"Pitt's Bridge" was on part of a tract of land granted to John Pitt, 
called "Pitt's Chance." The following interesting record in the rent 



rolls of Lord Baltimore, (1724), shows that "Pitt's Chance" con- 
tained 400 acres of land and the yearly rent was eight shillings: 

400/0/8/0 Pitt's Chance, surveyed 24th January, 1665, for John 
Pitt at the head of the Northwest branch of Tread Avon Creek, 
adjoining the land called Westmoreland, Possest by Mr. John 
Needles for Ann Darby in England, a daughter of Mr. Edward 

The Assembly authorized on the 4th day of November, 17 10, the 
building of a "court house for Talbot County at Armstrong's Old 
Field near Pitt His Bridge." This tract belonged to Philemon Arm- 
strong and comprised about two acres. How soon after the passage 
of the act before the building was erected is not known, but the first 
session of court in the new building near Pitt's Bridge was held on the 
1 7th of June, 1 7 1 2. Here, as at ' ' Yorke, ' ' a village soon sprang up and 
became known as "Talbot Court House." The name applied to both 
the building and the village, that being the custom in those days. 
That was the last move of the court. The village continued to be 
called "Talbot Court House" until 1 788, at which time it was changed 
to Easton, and is still the county-seat of Talbot County. Easton is 
now a flourishing town of 4,000 inhabitants and has the largest bank 
deposits of any town on the Eastern Shore. Here is located the 
Cathedral of the Diocese of Easton of the Protestant Episcopal 
Church. It is in the old parish of St. Peter's which had for its parish 
church for many years Whitemarsh Church, long since abandoned, the 
ruins of which form one of the old colonial landmarks of Talbot. 

Here, too, is the Friends Meeting House, built in 1684 on what is 
now the outskirts of Easton. It is said to be the oldest building for 
public worship of wooden construction in the United States. If some 
magic power could give the old structure the gift of speech, what 
wonderful tales it could tell of Wenlock Christison, George Fox and 
William Penn, all of whom are said to have worshipped beneath its 
roof. It is also stated that Charles Calvert, third Lord Baltimore, 
and Lady Calvert attended meeting there on one occasion. During 
the early years of Talbot County the Friends had no meeting house, 
but conducted their meetings at the homes of members. A very large 
part of the population of Talbot County in 1681 consisted of Quakers, 
and William Penn, realizing what a stronghold these members of his 



faith would make, established the Tred Avon Monthly Meeting as a 
branch of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. A record in the Minutes 
of Tred Avon Monthly Meeting shows that in 1681 it was decided to 
build a new meeting house upon Third Haven Creek. 

The building was begun in 1682 and the first assembling of Quakers 
in the new meeting house was on the 24th day of October, 1684. It is 
this building that is spoken of above as standing today. The records 
of the Quakers are complete in detail and furnish one of the sources 
of the most accurate colonial data to be found in Maryland. The 
records of Tred Avon Meeting are now in the Library of the Mary- 
land Historical Society. 

Talbot furnished her quota of volunteers during the Revolution 
and one of her sons. Col. Tench Tilghman, as aide-de-camp to Gen. 
George Washington, is proudly referred to as one of the greatest 
soldiers ever sent from the Eastern Shore. His famous ride from 
Yorktown to Philadelphia, carrying to Congress the news of the sur- 
render of Cornwallis, is an ever-pleasing story and has been told in 
verse by one of Maryland's clergymen. 

In the war with Great Britain, 181 2-14, a battle was fought at 
St. Michaels in which the British were defeated. 

Talbot has furnished four Governors of the State, Edward Lloyd, 
the fifth of that name in Maryland, June q, 1 8oq-November 16, 181 1 ; 
Samuel Stevens, December q, 1822-January 9, 1826; Daniel Martin, 
and Philip Francis Thomas, January 3, 1848-January 6, 1851. 



Built about 1781 , 

SITUATED on the banks of the south prong of Wye River and 
Lloyd's Creek is one of the most noted and historical estates on 
the Eastern Shore of Maryland, "Wye House," the home of the Lloyd 
family for eight generations. Edward Lloyd I came to the Colony of 
Virginia from Wales in 1623, and was a burgess in the Virginia 
Assembly until 164c), when he came to Maryland. Mr. Lloyd was 
a member of the General Assembly of Maryland which met at 
Preston-on-the-Patuxent between 1650 and 1658. On the 20th of 
April, 1650, the district embracing Providence was erected into a 
county and given the name of Anne Arundel. Edward Lloyd was 
made "commander" of this county by Governor Stone. On the organi- 
zation of Talbot County in 1661, having large landed estates there, 
he removed to that county and built his residence on Wye River, 
calling it "Wye House." 

The original "Wye House" was burned by British marauders on 
the night of March 13, 1 78 1 , and was robbed of many of its treasures, 

[ ^Q 1 


both paintings and plate. All the records of the Lloyd family up to 
that time perished in the flames. Later, after the war was over, 
several pieces of plate bearing the arms of the family were returned 
by the Crown. Of the original manor house only a fragment remains 
and is used as an outbuilding. A record states that the present "Wye 
House" was rebuilt by Edward Lloyd IV at once after the original 
house was destroyed by the British. This colonial structure, erected 
135 years ago, remains intact and appears to be as solid now as when 
first erected. 

The main building of two lofty stories, including the hall, drawing- 
room, parlor, dining-room and chambers, all of noble proportions, is 
connected by corridors with one-story wings in which are the library 
on one side and the domestic offices on the other, presenting a pleasing 
fagade of 200 feet, crowning an eminence which commands a view of 
the lawn and leafy avenue and over the woods to Wye River and the 
bay. Back of the manor house is an old garden with many beautiful 
winding walks bounded by boxwood hedges, a stroll through which 
would convince one that landscape gardening has long been a study 
of art, and there was much time and money spent in making these 
features of the old homestead most attractive. To one side of the 
garden is a beautiful stretch of green sward, bounded on each side by 
hedges, at the end of which is an imposing building— the old orangery. 
To the left of this structure is an arch of brick, flanked on each side 
by a wall fast crumbling away. This arch marks the entrance to the 
burying ground at Wye and on each side stand two gigantic trees 
like two sentinels guarding those who are slumbering in peace in the 
graveyard, which contains the remains of many generations of Lloyds. 

There seems to be some uncertainty as to the area of the original 
grant, but the present owner of "Wye House," Charles Howard 
Lloyd, inherited from his father over 5,000 acres. Another record 
referring to the landed estates of Edward Lloyd I in Talbot County 
speaks of the celebrated tract called "Hir-Dir-Lloyd," containing 
3,050 acres, now known as Oxford Neck, the patent for which bears 
the date of January 10, 1659. 


Surveyed 165 i 

OF all the colonial manors of Maryland few maintained a position 
of greater prominence and importance during the days of the 
Colony than "The Rich Neck." This tract of land is a peninsula 
lying between the eastern branch of the Chesapeake Bay and St. 
Michael's River with Tilghman's Creek making in from St. Michael's 
River on the south, and furnishes one of the finest land-locked harbors 
on the bay. From the character of the soil of this peninsula it well 
deserves its name, as there are few tracts in this State which today 
can boast of soil more fertile. 

Across St. Michael's River to the east and at the mouth of the Wye 
River was "Doncaster," the earliest county-seat of Talbot. In full view 
from "The Rich Neck" to the west across Eastern Bay is the site of 
the first seat of government for the Isle of Kent, and still farther 
beyond that, across the Chesapeake, is Annapolis, which became the 
capital of the Colony in 1692. This tract was surveyed for Capt. 
William Mitchell, October 20, 1651, by Robert Clark, then Surveyor- 



General of the Province, and contained i,ooo acres. Captain 
Mitchell sold the tract to Phillip Land, the High Sheriff of St. Mary's 
County. In 1684 Mr. Land sold it to Capt. James Murphy, the 
consideration being 104 pounds sterling, "lawful money of England, " 
23,000 pounds of good tobacco and two tracts on Sassafras Creek — 
one tract of i ,000 acres and the other of 500 acres, both lying in 
Cecil County. James Murphy occupied this land from 1684 to i6q8, 
and during the entire time was a Justice of Talbot County. At the 
time of his death he was president of the "quorum." He married a 
daughter of Capt. Ralph Dawson, Mabel, who was reputed to be the. 
beauty of the Colony. By his will he bequeathed his property to his 
widow. She married Matthew Tilghman Ward and died in 1702. 
leaving one child, a daughter, Mary Ward, who died at the age of 
twenty-two years. 

Matthew Tilghman Ward, for his second wife, married Margaret 
Lloyd, a daughter of Col. Philemon Lloyd. He became one of the 
Justices of Talbot. Upon the death of James Murphy he was made 
Speaker of the Assembly, which position he occupied for one or two 
terms and was then appointed member of the Council. At the time 
of his death, in 1 741 , he was President of the Council, and Lieutenant- 
General of the militia of the Colony, the two positions ranking next 
to that of Governor. 

Matthew Tilghman Ward left no descendants and by his will 
bequeathed "The Rich Neck," after the death of his widow, to 
Matthew Tilghman, a cousin, who occupied the property until his 
death in 1790. Matthew Tilghman, like his predecessors, had been 
a Justice of the Court, Speaker of the Assembly, a Delegate to the 
Continental Congress at Philadelphia, and was undoubtedly pre- 
vented by sickness from signing the Declaration of Independence. 
He was president of the First Constitutional Convention of the State 
and a member of the Committee of Safety during the Revolutionary 

In iqo6 this manor was purchased by the late Henry H. Pearson, 
Jr., from Joseph B. Seth, the then owner. Mr. Pearson restored and 
beautified it until it is one of the show places of the State. 



LESS than a mile north of St. Michael's, fronting on St. Michael's, 
-/ (Miles), River, is "Perry Cabin," the home for many years of the 
bachelor brothers, Samuel and John Needles Hambleton, both of 
whom were pursers in the United States Navy, and where they 
lived, when not on duty, with their two maiden sisters, the Misses 
Lydia and Louisa Hambleton. Samuel Hambleton, (i 777-1 851), was 
appointed in 1806 a purser in the United States Navy by President 
Thomas Jefferson. 

During the War of 181 2, at the battle of Lake Erie, when the flag- 
ship of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, the "Lawrence," was dis- 
abled by the sickness of the crew, he volunteered to work a gun and 
while thus aiding in achieving the victory was severely wounded by 
a cannon ball which fell upon him from the rigging. This estate, now 
the home of C. H. Fogg, is only a short distance from "Martingham," 
the earliest seat, (1659), of the Hambletons. Samuel Hambleton was 
born at "Martingham," and the estate is still owned by a member of 
the family. Here also lived John Needles Hambleton, (1798-1870), 
who faithfully served his country for fifty years as purser in the United 
States Navy. 



Little more than a mile south of St. Michael's, and about two 
miles from "Perry Cabin," beautifully situated on Spencer Creek, 
where it empties into St. Michael's River, is "Spencer Hall," the seat, 
for several generations, of the Spencers, some of whom gained dis- 
tinction in the various walks of life, but none of the name now reside 
in Talbot County. The family was of Norman origin and of noble 
degree, and can be easily traced to the eleventh century, being 
descended from Robert le Despencer, Lord Stewart of the household 
of William the Conqueror, and one of the Norman barons whose 
name is in the Roll of Battle Abbey, and in the great Domesday Book 
appears as Robertus Dispensator. 

In 1657 there came to Northumberland County, Virginia, Nicholas 
and Robert Spencer, brothers, of Cople, Bedfordshire, descended in 
the seventh generation from Robert Spencer, a.d. 1475, younger sons 
of Nicholas Spencer and his wife, Mary Gostwick, daughter of Sir 
Edward Gostwick, and a branch of the Northamptonshire family. 
They were accompanied by the brothers John and Lawrence Wash- 
ington, also from Bedfordshire, the former being the great-grand- 
father of Gen. George Washington. 

Nicholas Spencer, by grants and purchases, came into possession 
of large tracts of land on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, 1658 to 
1 66 1. He finally settled in Virginia near the Washingtons. He was 
later known as Col. Nicholas Spencer, and was Secretary of Virginia, 
1679-88. Robert Spencer was born in 1635. After removing from 
Virginia to Barbadoes, where he remained for several years, he came 
to Maryland in 1678 and settled in Talbot County in 1683. He died 
prior to April, 1688. He left an only son, James Spencer, born in 
Barbadoes in 1667, who came to Talbot after his father's death and 
settled on St. Michael's River. He died in 17 14,' leaving by his first 
wife, Isabella, four sons, James Spencer, Jr., the founder of "Spencer 
Hall," Charles, William and Hugh Spencer, and two daughters, Alice 
and Mary Spencer. The last male owner of "Spencer Hall" was Col. 
Perry Spencer, (1750- 1822), and the property finally passed out of 
the hands of the Spencers in 1837. The Spencers were never 
numerous in Talbot, and but one of that family is now living in 
Maryland, Col. Richard H. Spencer, of Baltimore. 


First built 1732 

THE fact that the Miles River is one of the most picturesque of 
Talbot's waterways was recognized by the early settlers. For this 
reason many of them chose to select sites on its banks. This river, 
after flowing about fifteen miles in a southwesterly direction, makes a 
distinct turn and flows northerly. The Miles River has this feature 
in common with the Chester and Choptank, which rivers empty into 
Chesapeake Bay. 

According to records a British fleet sailed up the Miles River in 
181 3 and under cover of darkness attacked the town of St. Michaels. 
The inhabitants, anticipating the attack, placed lights in the upper 
stories and on the roofs of their homes; consequently, most of the 
enemy's shells passed over the village. One shell, however, found a 
lodging place in a tall chimney, where it remains to this day. 

On the upper Miles River are many beautiful homes, but there 
are few on the Eastern Shore more attractive and home-like than 
"The Anchorage," the summer home of Milton Campbell, a native 
of Talbot County now residing in Philadelphia. The earliest record 



shows the erection of "The Anchorage' was in 1732, by Rev. John 
Gordon, a Scotch Episcopal minister who was at that time in charge 
of the Miles River Parish. 

The church stood on the opposite side of the Miles River road, 
nearly in the center of a field. The parsonage is now the central part 
of "The Anchorage" building, and was erected in 1732, either by or 
for the Rev. John Gordon. Just how long this reverend gentleman 
resided there is not known, but there is a tradition current that he 
always had an excellent congregation on Sundays, the secret of which 
may be attributed to the fact that a race-track had been constructed 
in the rear of the church and after service the congregation adjourned 
to the track for amusement. This bears out early records that the min- 
isters sent over to the colonies were rather of a sporting class. 

Governor Edward Lloyd bought "The Anchorage" before 
his daughter. Miss Sarah Scott Lloyd, married Commodore Charles 
Llowndes, U.S.N. , and after adding the wings and portico presented 
it to his daughter at her wedding. Later "The Anchorage" passed 
into the hands of Gen. Charles A. Chipley, who occupied the prop- 
erty for about fifteen years. Mr. Campbell purchased the property 
from the Chipley heirs nine years ago and since that time has added 
very much to the beauty of the place. The attractive features of this 
homestead are its simplicity, large trees and rolling lawn extending 

to the river, and the cordial and hospitable 
hosts, Mr. and Mrs. Campbell. 

Just opposite "The Anchorage," on the 
south bank of the Miles River, is "The 
Rest," once the home of Admiral Franklin 
Buchanan, of Confederate fame, commander 
of the "Virginia" in the first test of naval 
ironclads. This home is now owned by 
C. E. Henderson. Just above the long bridge 
which spans the Miles River is "Myrtle 
Grove," the home of Charles Goldsborough 
and one of the old places of Talbot County. 
The interior of this homestead is colonial 
and the accompanying picture shows the 
hall and stairway. 


Surveyed 1663 

ONE year after Talbot became a county of the Province of Mary- 
land, Ralph Elston came from England and obtained a grant 
to this beautiful tract of land, which lies at the southernmost end of 
Broad Creek Neck, between Harris Creek on the west and Broad 
Creek on the east. The following year, 1664, he acquired the adjoin- 
ing tract, known as "Long Neck." "Long Point" received its name 
from the point of land which was formerly known as Elston Point, 
now erroneously called Nelson's Point. 

Ralph Elston married, in i6q4, Mary Ball, the widow of John 
Ball, the emigrant. Her son, Benjamin Ball, came into possession of 
"Long Point," "Long Neck" and "Benjamin's Lot," and prior to 
1720 conveyed all of his lands, including the above places, to his 
brother, Lieut. Thomas Ball, and removed to Kent Island, where he 
died in 1 728. Upon the death of Lieut. Thomas Ball in 1 722 the afore- 
said lands were inherited by his children, John Ball II and Mary Ball, 
who became the wife of John Kemp, of Bayside. 



"Long Point" was subsequently bought by William Sheild, of 
Kent County, who had married Rachael Ball, granddaughter of John 
Ball II, and was occupied by them until the year 1800, when it passed 
into the possession of the Harrison family of Talbot County, who 
occupied it for over a hundred years. William Sheild's name appears 
on the muster roll of Kent County in 1775, he being a private of the 
first class in the first company of the Thirteenth Battalion. Later he 
enlisted in Capt. Edward Veazey's Independent Company. In adver- 
tising "Long Point" for sale in 1799, William Sheild states that the 
place "is well adapted to grow wheat, corn and tobacco; remarkable 
for fishing, fowling and oystering and what renders it still more 
valuable and agreeable is the healthy situation of the place." 

The mansion on "Long Point" was built by Ralph Elston and is 
now over 200 years old and still tenanted. It is a quaint colonial 
dwelling house, built of brick, two stories and attic, surmounted 
by a hip-roof. Two enormous chimneys stand one at each end of 
the house. The second story has dormer windows. 

John Ball, the emigrant, settled in Talbot County about 1686 
and bought part of the "Hir Dir Lloyd" manor, situated on the 
eastern side of Third Haven Creek, from Edward Lloyd and was 
living there in 1688. He died in 1693. His son, Lieut. Thomas Ball, 
with Samuel Martin, Francis Harrison, Nicholas Goldsborough, 
Robert Grundy and other gentlemen of Talbot, was one of the jury 
selected to determine the value of the land to be purchased for the 
new town of Oxford when it was laid out. 

It may be a circumstance deserving of remark that the Ball 
family of Talbot, in whose possession "Long Point" remained for 
so many years, has no apparent immediate connection with the Vir- 
ginia family of that name. The former belonged to an ancient English 
family seated in County Devon, whose armorial bearings are quite 
distinct from those of the Virginia Balls. 

Like nearly all of the old homes of the colonial period, this house 
stands close to the water and around it grow the old boxwood, fig 
trees, horse chestnut and English walnut trees. 


Surveyed 1683 

BUILT in 181 5 by Daniel Martin, "The Wilderness" house stands 
upon a small hill on the shore of the Choptank River. From 
the observatory one may obtain a view of the Choptank for miles, 
a scene unrivaled for beauty in this country. In the construction of 
this house care was taken that haste should not affect the solidity 
of the building nor mar the finish. The bricks were burnt upon the 
farm and the mortar made of lime from oyster shells taken from the 
river and sand from the beach. It is said that the floors were allowed 
to season a year before the house was occupied. Nicholas Martin, 
the father of Daniel Martin, who had lived in the original house at 
"The Wilderness" and had inherited it from his father, Daniel Martin, 
was a man of prominence in the affairs of Talbot County in the 
Revolutionary period. He was captain of a company of the Thirty- 
eighth Battalion of Maryland Militia and served during the entire 
conflict. He was a member of the Lower House of the Maryland 
Assembly from 1780 to 1795, and held various offices in the county. 
He died at "The Wilderness" in i 

[ 39 


In 1813, Daniel Martin was a member of the Lower House of the 
Maryland Assembly and was re-elected to represent Talbot at four 
succeeding sessions of that body. In iSiq he was elected Governor 
of the State of Maryland by an anti-Jackson legislature for one year. 
The succeeding legislature was dominated by a Jackson majority, and 
chose Thomas King Carroll. The Legislature of 1830, however, again 
returned to the anti-Jackson side, and elected Martin, January 3, 
1 83 1. He died in Talbot, July 11, 1831, in the middle of his second 
term. Gov. Daniel Martin married, in 18 16, Mary Clare Mackubin, 
of Annapolis. To her and his two daughters Governor Martin left 
"The Wilderness." One of the daughters, Eveline L. Martin, married, 
in 1839, John W. Martin, who then bought the place. "The Wilder- 
ness" is now the home of J. Ramsey Speer, formerly of Pittsburgh, Pa. 
Mr. Speer has done much to beautify the old estate and restore it to 
its former fertility and productiveness as a plantation. Mr. and Mrs. 
Speer are cordial hosts and "The Wilderness" by their hospitality has 
regained its former place in the social life of Talbot County. 

From Chancellor's Point, the extreme southern point of Talbot 
County, around which the Choptank makes an abrupt turn to the 
north, to the mouth of the Tred Avon River there extends a long 
shore line rugged with jutting headlands and their corresponding 

In the days before white men settled in Talbot County this penin- 
sula was the site of an Indian village and the happy hunting grounds 
of the tribe that lived there from time immemorial. The ground in 
places is scattered with their flint arrow heads and other relics. The 
Indians named the river Choptank, and they named many other 
rivers of the Eastern Shore. A few years after the coming of the 
white settlers, these Indians gave up their claims to their lands in 
Talbot and went to live on a reservation on the south side of the 
Choptank near the village of Secretary, in Dorchester County. In 
later years all of the Indians on the Eastern Shore went to other 
parts of the United States, where they mingled with other tribes of 
their race and in the Far West their freedom was for years uninter- 
rupted by the march of civilization. 


Surveyed 1659 

TWENTY-ONE years after the landing of the Maryland Pilgrims 
at St. Mary's one William Taylor came up the Tred Avon Creek 
and on the south side of what was then called Parrott Branch 
had surveyed for him, on August 15, 1659, 500 acres of forest- 
covered land and named that tract "Otwell." This was about 
three years before Talbot was made a county. In this same year 
"Hir Dir Lloyd" was granted to Edward Lloyd; "Grafton Manor," 
1,000 acres, to John Harris; "Canterbury Manor," 1,000 acres, to 
Richard Tilghman; "Tilghman's Fortune," 1,000 acres, to Samuel 
Tilghman; "Chancellor's Point," 1,000 acres, to Philip Calvert. 

These were the earliest grants in Talbot of i ,000 acres or over, and 
it can be truthfully said of "Otwell" that it was among the pioneer 
grants of the Eastern Shore, though of less than 1,000 acres, and like 
all the other grants mentioned has been subdivided from time to 
time until it is now very much smaller than the original. 

Writing of this estate some years ago, the late Dr. Edmund M. 
Goldsborough states that the loss of original acres detracts not from 



the charm of the colonial house; no unsympathetic hand has inter- 
vened to despoil the atmosphere of a fragrant past. The house of 
"Otwell" stands today an exemplification of the tastes and charac- 
teristics which prevailed among the gentlemen who lived in later 
colonial times. The substantial lines of the English farmhouse are 
discernible in the architecture of this early home of the Golds- 
boroughs, into whose family "Otwell" came many years ago. 

Otwell still remains in the family, it being owned by Matthew 


This estate of about i,ioo acres is beautifully situated on the 
Wye River and was a part of the landed estate of Governor 
Edward Lloyd of "Wye House." The mansion house, situated on a 
bluff, overlooks the river and Wye Island on the opposite side. 
"Wye Heights" is now owned by James Fletcher, who takes pride 
in keeping the estate, as well as the house and surroundings, in the 
highest state of improvement. 


Surveyed 1659 

THIS old manor became the home of Henry Hollyday about 1749, 
and here he brought his bride, Anna Maria Robins, that year. It 
is said that he built the present manor house at that time. The first 
Henry Hollyday died in i/Sq, and the estate passed to his son, Henry 
Hollyday; he died in 1850. Richard C. Hollyday, one of his sons, long 
lived at "Ratcliffe," and was Secretary of State of Maryland under 
several governors. His widow married the late United States Senator 
Charles Hopper Gibson. 

"Ratcliffe Manor House" is more distinguished in appearance 
than the majority of homes built at the same period. The rooms are 
capacious, the ceilings high, and the quaintly carved woodwork 
delights the connoisseur of the colonial. The harmony of the interior 
is equaled by the effect of the dark-red brick structure, now almost 
covered by rich green English ivy. Many plants in the formal garden 
were brought to "Ratcliffe" in the early days of the Hollydays, and 
new varieties of ornamental shrubbery have been added by the present 
owner, A. A. Hathaway, formerly of Wisconsin. 


Built 1663 

HAMPDEN," the ancestral home of the Martins of Talbot 
County, was built, it is said, in 1663 by Thomas Martin, the 
emigrant. The house stands on a branch of Dividing Creek amid a 
grove of giant trees and, while it is unpretentious, it embodies the 
substantial lines of the English farmhouse of that day. It is claimed 
that "Hampden" was the first brick house in Talbot. 

Thomas Martin was born in Dorsetshire, England, in 1629, and 
arrived in the Province of Maryland in 1663. He acquired 200 acres 
from Edward Lloyd, part of the "Hir Dir Lloyd" grant, and on it 
built this house which he named "Hampden," in honor of his friend, 
John Hampden, of England. In addition to this place Thomas Martin 
owned several large tracts of land in Talbot County. In 1692 when 
the parishes were laid out he was selected by the freeholders living 
in St. Peter's Parish as one of the vestrymen and to the credit of his 
descendants it is said one or more of them have been members of 
the vestry for over 200 years of Old Whitemarsh Church, now in 
crumbling ruins. 



In Island Neck Creek many homes were built in the early 
days of the county and on Dividing Creek nearly opposite to "Hamp- 
den" is the ancestral home of the Stevens family, "Compton." From 
the porch of this old mansion down over the well-kept lawns a fine 
view meets the eye. The quiet waters of Dividing Creek, the swift- 
flowing current of the Choptank River and the blue-gray shore line 
of Dorchester present a beautiful picture. Like "Hampden," this 
home was built of brick. 

John Stevens built "Compton" in 1770, and here entertained his 
friends in lavish style. In 1788 he was a member of the Maryland 
Convention which ratified the Constitution of the United States of 
America, his colleagues from Talbot in this convention being Robert 
Goldsborough, Jr., Edward Lloyd and Jeremiah Banning. In 1794 
John Stevens died at "Compton," leaving an only son, Samuel 

Samuel Stevens became Governor of the State of Maryland in 
1822. Like his father, he was a very popular man and his home was 
the rendezvous of local as well as State celebrities. In 1824 Gov. 
Samuel Stevens extended an invitation to General Lafayette to again 
visit Annapolis. The distinguished Frenchman accepted the invita- 
tion and a public reception and ball was held at the State House in 
his honor. During General Lafayette's stay at Annapolis, Governor 
Stevens sent a message to the State Assembly, which was in session 
at that time, asking that General Lafayette and his male heirs forever 
be made citizens of the State of Maryland. This was done by unani- 
mous action on the part of both branches of the Assembly. Governor 
Stevens remained in office by two re-elections until 1826 and then 
returned to "Compton," where he spent a long and active life, dying 
there in i860. At his death the property passed out of the Stevens 
family and is now owned by Charles B. Lloyd. 




IT is an interesting fact that this old county was that part of the 
Province of Maryland officially known at St. Mary's City from 
1 66 1 to 1666 as "The Eastern Shore," while the section north of the 
Choptank River was known as the "Isle of Kent." Under date of 
February 4, 1662, John Elzey, Randall Revell and Stephen Horsey 
were made Commissioners for the territory south of the Choptank 
River. They held their offices until February 20, 1663, when Elzey 
and Horsey were reappointed by the Governor and Council, and Ran- 
dall was succeeded by William Thorne. On the 1 5th of August, 1663, 
Elzey, Horsey, Thorne and Capt. John Odber were made "Commis- 
sioners for that part of the Province newly seated called the Eastern 
Shore," and on the 26th of May, 1664, Governor Charles Calvert 
"nominated, constituted and empowered Stephen Horsey, Capt. 
William Thorne and Mr. William Bozeman, gentleman, or any two 
of them being within this Province to grant warrants for land during 
the term of six months ensuing to date hereof upon the Eastern Shore 
of this Province in any part between the Choptank River and a line 
drawn east into the Maine Ocean from Watkins Point." A commis- 
sion was issued August 28, 1665, to Horsey and Thorne "to continue 
Justices of the Peace on the Eastern Shore," and George Johnson, 
William Stevens, John White, John Winder, James Jones and Henry 
Boston were joined with them. These same men were appointed 
February 23, 1666, Commissioners for the Eastern Shore for one year; 
and just six months later, August 22, 1666, the county was created, 
and a new commission of the peace issued to them. 

The boundaries of the new county were set out in the Proprietary's 
proclamation with all the exactness of the geographical knowledge of 
the day: "Bounded on the south with a line drawn from Wattkins' 
Point to the Ocean on the East, Nanticoke River on the north and the 



sound of Chesipiake Bay on the West," and it was given the name of 
"Sommersett County in honor to our Deare Sister, the Lady Mary 
Somersett." Somerset, Worcester and Wicomico Counties, as at pres- 
ent constituted, were within this area. 

Many attractions were presented by this territory to the immi- 
grant. The climate was mild, tempered by ocean and bay, the soil, 
fertile and kind, responded generously to even the shallowest culti- 
vation. The Nanticoke, Wicomico, Manokin, Great Annamessex, 
Little Annamessex, Pocomoke, and other streams traversed or in- 
dented the county. On the east the Chincoteague Bay made a break 
between the mainland and the long seashore of sand which stretches 
from Ocean City to the State line. These waters not only furnished 
abundant and delicious food, but they were the principal thorough- 
fares for travel from place to place in this new country where the 
land, except that adjacent to the navigable waters, was but little 
more than a pathless wilderness. Along the banks of these water 
courses the first settlements were made and the first places of worship 
were near to the rivers. It was a familiar sight to the early colonists 
to see the rivers dotted with sail boats going to and from the Sunday 
services held in the primitive churches of the early days of the 

Many of the early settlers in Somerset, as in the other counties 
of the Province, had fled from religious persecution in the Old World. 
They sought and found in the New World an asylum in Maryland 
where each one was permitted to worship God as his conscience dic- 
tated. Here indeed was a new country, rich in opportunities and made 
famous as the first to offer absolutely free religious worship. Such 
was the land of which Somerset County was a part. With its natural 
advantages, its forests abounding with game both large and small, 
its rivers yielding bountifully of fish, oysters and crabs, it is not sur- 
prising that Somerset soon became a very important part of Cecilius 
Calvert's Colony. 

Into this part of the Province of Maryland as early as 1661 came 
John Elzey, Randall Revell, Edmund Howard, Stephen Horsey, 
William Thorne, Capt. John Odber, George Johnson, William Stevens, 
John White, Matthew Scarborough, John Winder, William Bozeman, 
James Jones and Henry Boston, men whose descendants have dwelt 



here in this delightful land for the 250 years that have intervened 
since those pioneer settlers drove their axes into the trees and made 
clearings on which to grow grain and tobacco. Some of the early 
grants in Somerset were : "Bridges' Lot," i , 100 acres, 1663, to Joseph 
Bridges; "Darby," 3,000 acres, 1663, to Henry Sewall; "Jordan's 
Point," 1,000 acres, 1662, to Thomas Jordan; "More & Case It," 
1,200 acres, 1662, to William Bozeman; "Revell's Grove," 1,500 acres, 
1665, to Randall Revell; "Rice's Land," 1,000 acres, 1663, to Nicholas 
Rice; "Stanley," 1,350 acres, 1663, to Hugh Stanley; "The Strand," 
1,000 acres, 1663, to Daniel Jenifer; "Wicomico," 1,000 acres, 1663, 
to Henry Sewall; "Rehoboth," 1,000 acres, 1665, to Col. William 

When, in 1742, the Assembly created a new county on the "sea- 
board side of Somerset" — ^Worcester — Somerset lost much of its origi- 
nal territory and about half of its inhabitants. In the erection of 
Wicomico County in 1 867 Somerset again contributed area and popu- 
lation. She is the "mother" county south of the Choptank, as Kent 
is north of the river. Edmund Beauchamp was the first "Clerk and 
Keeper of the Records" of Somerset, and Stephen Horsey became the 
first Sheriff. In January, 1666, the Somerset County Court met at 
the house of Thomas Pool in Revell's Neck. A lot for the public 
buildings on the Manokin River was deeded the Proprietary in 1668 
by Randall Revell, where a town was to be laid out for the county- 
seat, to be called "Sommerton." Soon afterward, however, the court 
ceased meeting on Revell's place, the town never became an actuality, 
and the county business was transacted on Dividing Creek. At the 
March term of the court, 1694, it was ordered that a tract of land 
not exceeding 200 acres be purchased near Dividing Creek on which 
a court house was to be built. The order called for a building fifty 
feet long by twenty feet wide with gable ends of brick. Nothing 
remains of that court house although its approximate site is still 
known as "Court House Hill." In 1732 the Assembly authorized the 
purchase of twenty-five acres, part of the original grant known as 
"Beckford," the land to be laid out into lots and a town built to be 
called Princess Anne. Here the court house was built and this old 
town, laid out in 1733, has been the county-seat ever since. 

Princess Anne is on the south side of the Manokin River near its 



headwaters. Its most striking feature is its wide and beautifully 
shaded streets. At Princess Anne is St. Andrews, the parish church 
of Somerset Parish, (1692). At Rehoboth, a small hamlet near the 
Pocomoke River, stands the ruins of one of the first churches built 
in the Province, the parish church of Coventry Parish. When the 
four parishes of Coventry, Snow Hill, Somerset and Stepney were 
laid out in Somerset County the following appeared as vestrymen: 
John Huett, Richard Chambers, John Painter, Nathaniel Horsey, 
Miles Grey, Peter Elzey, Francis Jenckins, George Layfield, Thomas 
Nuball, William Planer, Thomas Dixon, William Coleburn, James 
Weatherly, John Bounds, Philip Carter, Robert Collier, Thomas 
Holebrooke, Philip Askue, Matthew Scarborough, William Round, 
John Francklin, Thomas Pointer, Thomas Selby and Edward 

A chain of low-lying islands trending north and south divide the 
Chesapeake Bay from Tangier Sound, in the Somerset area, a beauti- 
ful salt water sheet that abounds in delicious oysters. Here, too, is 
to be found the greatest quantities of crabs. The catching of crabs 
gives occupation to a great many men living at or near Crisfield, a 
large and thriving town in the southwestern part of the county. From 
Crisfield soft crabs are shipped to all parts of the United States. 

During the session of the Convention of Maryland which lasted 
from July 26 to August 14, 1 775, the names of Somerset patriots were 
affixed to the Association of Freemen of Maryland, an agreement 
made with the other American colonies to stand by them in resisting 
the policy of "taxation without representation" which England had 
forced upon them. It was at this session also that the resolution was 
passed that there be forty companies of minute men enrolled in the 
Province, as soon as may be, each company to consist of one captain, 
two lieutenants, one ensign, four sergeants, four corporals, one drum- 
mer, one fifer, and sixty-eight privates. Somerset enrolled one of 
these forty companies from the men who had previously signed the 
muster rolls. Prior to this time, the muster rolls show two battalions 
had been organized in the county. The First Battalion, commanded 
by Col. George Dashiell, and the Seventeenth Battalion, by Col. 
Thomas Hayward, were two of the thirty-eight battalions of volun- 
teers enrolled in Maryland in 1775. 



It is not out of place to mention here the important part Watkins' 
Point, the southernmost point of land in Somerset, played in the 
adjustment of the boundary between the Virginia Colony and the 
Province of Maryland. In the charter which gave the Province of 
Maryland to Cecilius Calvert this Watkins' Point was the beginning 
place in the description of the bounds of the Province. The following 
extract from the description includes reference to the line from Cin- 
quack to Watkins' Point: "to the First Fountain of the River of 
Potowmack, thence verging towards the South into the further bank 
of the said River and following the same on the West and South unto 
a place called Cinquack situated near the mouth of the said River 
where it disembogues into the aforesaid Bay of Chesapeake and 
thence by the shortest line unto the aforesaid Promontory or Place 
called Watkins' Point." The King, Charles I, had before him when 
framing the charter a map which Capt. John Smith had made in 
1608. On that map Captain Smith had indicated an Indian village 
lying close to the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay and about 
six or seven miles south of the mouth of the Potomac River; this was 
the Indian village called ''Cinquack." Several times since the landing 
of Leonard Calvert with the colonists on March 25, 1634, this line 
has been the subject of dispute between Maryland and Virginia. Its 
final adjustment in 1877 terminated the dispute, but not until iqi6 
was the line between the two States marked by permanent buoys. 
This latter work was authorized in ic)i6 by the Maryland Assembly. 



Built in 1793 

WORKINGTON" manor house is of pure Georgian architecture 
and stands on the grassy banks of picturesque Back Creek, not 
far from its junction with the Manokin River. This estate adjoins 
two others of prominence — ''Arlington" and ''Westover"; the former 
is built of glazed bricks and stands today as originally constructed, 
the latter has been rebuilt by the owner. Western Starr. 

Henry Jackson emigrated to Maryland from Workington, Eng- 
land, and obtained a grant for the land on which he built, in 1 793, this 
home. Fortified by the courage and spirit that typified the founders 
of this great Nation. Henry Jackson built the magnificent home in 
what was then the primeval forest of the Eastern Shore. The house 
is substantially built of brick and the woodwork is of the heart pine 
of this section of Somerset. From these forests he selected the most 
perfect material, that has lasted and will yet last for years to come. 

One wonders at the patience exhibited by the workmen in carry- 
ing out the various details in hand carvings seen in the finishing of 
the cornices and paneling throughout the house. This adherence to 



detail is in evidence in the doors, moldings and mantels, too. No 
expense was spared in making the house complete, according to the 
architecture of that period. 

Luckily, "Working- 
ton" remained for several 
generations in the hands 
of those who made no 
alterations to mar its 
beauty, and fortune still 
followed this old home- 
stead when the present 
owner, Ralph P. Thomp- 
son, came to Somerset 
and found and purchased 
this estate. 

Mr. and Mrs. Thomp- 
son saw this gem of col- 
onial architecture buried 
in the dust and neglect of 
time. To their refined 
tastes, time and labor must be given the credit for the restoration of 
"Workington" to the home it was at the close of the eighteenth cen- 
tury, when this house was the pride of the builder, Henry Jackson. 


Built 1706 

FRANCIS MAKEMIE, a pioneer Presbyterian minister, came to 
Maryland in 1683 in response to a request sent to England in 
1 68 1 by Col. William Stevens, and built in 1706 upon land which he 
acquired the present Rehoboth Presbyterian Church, familiarly called 
"Makemie's Church." A man of wonderful talents, he aroused the 
latent religious energy of the settlers of lower Somerset and upper 
Accomac County, Virginia, and to him more than anyone else is due 
the credit for establishing the Presbyterian Church in America. The 
same year he built Rehoboth Church he organized at Philadelphia 
the first General Presbytery of America and was chosen the first 
moderator. He retired in 1707 to his home at Holden's Creek, Va., 
where he died in July, 1708. 

Col. William Stevens, a native of Buckinghamshire, England, 
was one of the earliest settlers in this part of Somerset County and 
obtained a grant of 1,000 acres which he named "Rehoboth," taking 
the name from a verse found in the Old Testament — Genesis, 26th 
chapter, 22nd verse: 



And he removed from thence, and digged another well; and for 
that they strove not : and he called the name of it Rehoboth; and he 
said. For now the Lord hath made room for us, and we shall be fruit- 
ful in the land. 

A man of wealth and great prominence, Col. William Stevens was 
made a commissioner of the county, which place, it is said, he retained 
until his death in 1687. Upon his tombstone the following inscription 
appears: "He was twenty-two years judge of this county court, one 
of His Lordship's Council and one of the deputy lieutenants of this 
Province of Maryland." Writing of this one of Maryland's earliest 
settlers. Rev. John D. Howk, in his "Rehoboth by the River," from 
which these notes are taken, says: "It seems only proper that the 
Presbyterian Church, the County of Somerset and the State of Mary- 
land should take some step, in recognition of his prominence and long 
and faithful services, to guard this historic relic, [Col. Stevens' tomb], 
from oblivion." As early as 1670, as the Scotch, Scotch-Irish, French 
and Quakers continued to seek these friendly shores a small hamlet 
was growing up at the great bend of the Pocomoke River, first known 
as ''Pocomoke Town," but later taking the name of Colonel Stevens 
plantation, "Rehoboth." The prominence of Colonel Stevens, who 
was the owner of over 20,000 acres of land in the colony, made it a 
place of importance far beyond its size. 

Upon the death of the Rev. Francis Makemie in 1708 the Rev. 
John Henry took up the work of Rehoboth and married the widow 
of Col. Francis Jenkins, one of the Justices for Somerset, and a member 
of His Lordship's Council. She was the Lady Mary, daughter of Sir 
Robert King. Rev. and Mrs. Henry had two sons, Robert Jenkins 
and John, both of whom became prominent in the Province. The Rev. 
John Henry died in 17 17 and he was succeeded by the Rev. John 
Hampton, then in charge at Snow Hill. He married the beautiful 
widow of the Rev. John Henry, who survived her last husband, she 
dying in 1744. Her grave is still to be seen near the old town of 


Surveyed 1663 

Built about 1750 

SHORTLY after King Charles I granted to Cecilius Calvert, Baron 
of Baltimore, on June 20, 1632, the charter for the Province of 
Maryland, there arose a contention as to the southerly boundary. 
The boundaries of Maryland are described in the charter as begin- 
ning at Watkins' Point and running east to the ocean. This point, 
which caused early contention, is located in Cedar Straits, which con- 
nect the waters of Tangier and Pocomoke Sounds, and is five miles 
from the thriving town of Crisfield. 

Almost within sight of Watkins' Point and just beyond the town 
limits of Crisfield are standing two very old houses, "Makepeace.'' 
and the "Old Lankford Home," the birthplace of Benjamin Lankford 
in I -JO,-]. John Roach probably built "Makepeace" shortly after the sur- 
vey for him of the tract, February g, 1663, which contained 1 50 acres. 
The bricks used in building the house are glazed. The first owner of 
"Makepeace" died in 1717, leaving the estate to his son, John, who 
devised it to his son, Charles. The estate remained in the Roach 
family until 1826, when William Roach sold it to Robert Moore. 

[ 5^ ] 


The following year Jacob James Cullen purchased "Makepeace," he 
having a short time before emigrated from Ireland and settled in 
Annamessex Hundred, on Johnson Creek. The place remained in the 
Cullen family for many years, it being owned, in turn, by Trevis and 
John Cullen. The latter sold "Makepeace" to Capt. Elijah Sterling, 
whose son, Luther, inherited it and in the ownership of whose widow, 
the present Mrs. Mary Chelton, it now rests. The families who have 
been connected with "Makepeace" — the Roaches, Gunbys, Atkinsons, 
Sterlings, Cullens and Cheltons — are all prominent ones of Somerset. 

The "Old Lankford Home," located in Lawson's District, is very 
odd in design and construction. But few houses now exist on this Pen- 
insula having brick ends with the sides built of logs. The writer has 
observed the ruins of houses of similar construction at Port Tobacco, 
once the county-seat of Charles County, today a "deserted village." 

Benjamin Lankford, the son of Benjamin Lankford, born i/qj, 
was elected Commissioner of Public Works of Maryland under the 
Constitution of 1851 and was also elected from Somerset to fourteen 
sessions of the House of Delegates and two sessions of the Senate. 
The last of the name to own the property was James F. Lankford, who 
died in 1897, when the property passed out of the family and was 
purchased by John Betts. 


Built 1683 

ABOUT ten miles from Princess Anne, at the head of King's Creek, 
L is situated one of the notable places of the lower Eastern Shore — 
"Kingston Hall," known in the earliest records as "Kingland," the 
successive owners of which, almost to the present day, have been 
prominently identified with the social, professional and political life 
of the county and State. It is the ancestral home of the King-Carroll 
family, and contained, it is said, 6,000 acres in the original grant to 
Robert King. On one of the divisions, formerly a corner of the estate, 
the little village of Kingston sprang up, and near this is the railroad 
station of Kingston. 

Built in 1683 by Major Robert King, a member of an ancient and 
honorable family in Ireland, who came to this country a short while 
before, "Kingston Hall" was the home of his descendants for more 
than a century and a half. Major King, who had been a member in 
the House of Burgesses and Justice of the Provincial Court of Mary- 
land, was for years prior to his death Naval Officer of the Pocomoke 
District. Upon the death of Major King the estate of "Kingland" 



passed to his son. Col. Robert King, and at his death, to the son of 
Robert King IIL This son, Thomas King, married Miss Reid, of 
Virginia, and had but one child, Elizabeth Barnes King, who inherited 
the estate, upon which she continued to live after her marriage to 
Col. Henry James Carroll of Susquehanna, St. Mary's County. 
It became the property of the elder of her two sons, Thomas King 
and Charles Cecilius Carroll. Thomas King Carroll, a man of rare 
intellectual gifts and elegant culture, married Miss Stevenson, daughter 
of Dr. Henry Stevenson, of Baltimore. He was elected a member of the 
Legislature and later Governor of Maryland. At the expiration of his 
term as governor he returned to "Kingston Hall," where he continued 
to live until he removed to Dorchester County in 1840. The estate 
was purchased at this time by a member of the distinguished Dennis 
family of Somerset, a friend and neighbor of Governor Carroll, remain- 
ing in the possession of his descendants for a great many years. In 
later years it has been divided into several farms and sold to various 
owners, being now the home of Mr. Hallberg, formerly of Alabama. 

During the life of Col. Henry James Carroll there were 150 slaves 
occupying quarters on the estate. Everything needed for them was 
produced on the place. A coach and four, with liveried outriders, was 
the style in which Colonel Carroll and his wife traveled yearly to 
the White Sulphur Springs. The stately old manor house remains 
practically unchanged to the present day. The main building is of 
brick, three stories high, and had extensive frame additions at either 
end. One of these wings has been removed, but the house now contains 
twenty-two rooms. Surmounting the main building is a tower room 
commanding a view of the surrounding country for miles. Many of 
the rooms at the Hall retain their colonial features, while quaint cup- 
boards and "secret" panels enhance the charm of the house. In former 
years a long avenue of Lombardy poplars and cedars formed the 
approach to the mansion, and magnificent trees, terraced gardens, 
box-bordered walks, magnolia and native tulip trees, hedges of roses, 
lilacs, mock-orange, hollyhocks, and sweet-scented shrub bushes made 
a setting of indescribable beauty, much of which time has failed to 

Built by John Done 

WHEN Princess Anne was laid out in lots way back before the 
Revolutionary War, one of them. No. 15, was bought by John 
Done. Here he built a home and it is generally supposed this home 
embodied the nature of a tavern, for it is known that Zadok Long 
bought the place from Done on the 17th of June, 1797, and that 
Long had rented the property prior to buying it and had conducted 
it as a tavern. 

Here in the "land of the cedar and vine, where the flowers ever 
blossom, the beams ever shine," this old Washington Hotel has been 
the stopping place for travelers from all walks of life. Here they have 
dined upon the tempting viands prepared by good old cooks of long 
ago, here they have slept, laughed and sighed. The long list of those 
who found welcome and partook of its hospitality include the famous 
barrister, Luther Martin, the first Attorney-General of the State of 
Maryland. Luther Martin was of counsel for Aaron Burr in his trial 
for treason at Richmond. Judge Samuel Chase, one of the Signers 



of the Declaration of Independence, a native of Somerset, was a 
frequent visitor, as was also his distinguished father, who was rector 
of Somerset Parish at one time. During the life of Governor Thomas 
King Carroll, he made this old Washington Hotel his headquarters. 
Here, too. Governor Levin Winder shook hands with his host of 
friends and felt the warmth of the support of his fellow Eastern 

Writing entertainingly of this old hostelry, one of the Eastern 
Shore's fair ladies says, "it has sheltered statesmen. State officials, 
members of the Army and Navy, politicians, historians, poets, minis- 
ters and novelists; all have found here a welcome and hospitality 
equalled by few, surpassed by no other hotel in America." Here over 
the poker table negro slaves have been wagered, lost and won by 
their masters. Gambling was entered into by the gentlemen of the 
good old days and poker was a favorite with them. 

How surprised would those guests of the Revolutionary times be 
if they found their rooms lighted by electric lights instead of the old 
tallow "dip." The great open fireplaces are still in use, but those old- 
time guests would be surprised by the steam radiators in their rooms, 
and the telephones — but the story would be too long to tell of the 
progress made in the intervening years. Then no trains connected 
Princess Anne with the outside world nor were there the steamboats 
that ply between this old town and Baltimore, and which have sup- 
planted travel by sailing vessels. 


Built about i8oi 

JUST west of the limits of Princess Anne stands the Teackle 
Mansion, built on the lines of an English castle by Littleton 
Dennis Teackle. The main or central part of the old house is quite 
large with the usual colonial trimmings on the windows and doors. 
The two wings of Teackle Mansion, while smaller, are also splendid 
examples of the colonial workmanship and architecture. 

Littleton D. Teackle was a progressive man and entered into the 
financial and political life of Somerset County. He was the founder 
and first president of the first banking institution in the county — 
the Bank of Somerset. He was at one time a member of the Maryland 
Assembly and took an active part in the work of that body. 

The old house stands on a part of the original grant "Beckford," 
and which part was bought in 1801 by Mr. Teackle from George 
Wilson Jackson. The property is now owned and occupied by three 
families. The main part is the home of E. Orrick Smith. Miss 
Euphemia A. Woolford owns the north wing and the south wing is 
the home of Francis H. Dashiell. 


Patented 1668 

OF the nine county-seats of the Eastern Shore. Princess Anne seems 
to lead in the number of existing historical places. In fact, Somer- 
set, which is the third oldest county of our peninsula, is rich in history. 
This may be attributed to its geographical location, being our southern- 
most county, into which many of the early settlers came from Virginia. 

East of Princess Anne, and just outside of the corporate limits of 
this picturesque town, is "Beechwood," the home of the late Hon. 
Levin Lyttleton Waters. 

After leaving Princess Anne on a north-bound train, a forest of 
stately oak and beech trees is passed, through which a winding road 
is seen, leading to the homestead of the Waters family, and which 
has been their ancestral home for over 200 years in Somerset County. 

Under the name of "Manlove's Discovery," George Manlove pat- 
ented "Beechwood" in 1668. Robert Elzey, the father of Anne Glas- 
gow Elzey, and from whom she inherited the property, purchased the 
estate from George Manlove early in the eighteenth century, and it 
has been held in the Waters family by direct inheritance ever since. 



"Beechwood"' takes its name from the numerous beech trees sur- 
rounding the spacious lawn and mansion house. Under some of these 
trees in the old family burying ground lie the remains of some of its 
former owners, their last resting-place being marked by marble slabs, 
shown by the picture at the end of this sketch. 

The Waters family is closely related to many of the former owners 
of other colonial estates in Somerset County. Levin Lyttleton Waters 
married Lucretia Jones, a daughter of Col. Arnold Elzey Jones, of 
"Elmwood," on the Manokin River, and a sister of Gen. Arnold Elzey 
of the Confederate Army. Mrs. Waters' mother was Anne Wilson 
Jackson, a daughter of Henry Jackson, who owned and built 
the colonial mansion on the "Workington" estate. Henry Jackson 
also owned and built the "Beckford" mansion. Mrs. Waters was 
related to the Wilsons and Elzeys, former owners of the "Westover" 
and "Almodington" estates. "Westover" adjoins "Workington," and 
is located on Back Creek, a tributary of the Manokin River, and is 
now owned by Western Starr. "Almodington" is situated on the 
Manokin River and adjoins "Elmwood." These homesteads face 
"Clifton," which is located on the opposite side of the river. 

Two surviving brothers and two sisters inherited "Beech wood," 
Arnold Elzey Waters and Mrs. William C. Hart, of Baltimore City, 
and Miss Emily Rebecca Waters and Henry Jackson Waters, of 
Princess Anne. 



Surveyed ib/q 

THE records of the Land Office of Maryland, in Annapolis, show 
that the tract of land called "Beckford" was surveyed in Novem- 
ber, 167Q, in the name of Col. William Stevens, and that the certifi- 
cate of survey was assigned by him to Edmund Howard, and that a 
patent was issued to Howard in November, 1681. In 1697, Edmund 
Howard conveyed the plantation to Peter Dent, who built a dwelling 
house upon it where he resided for some time. Peter Dent was a man 
of distinction in his time, and was Clerk of the Somerset County Court 
and also Attorney-General of the Province of Maryland. By his will, 
executed in 17 10, he devised this property to his wife, Jeane Pitman 
Dent, and his daughter, Rebecca Dent. Rebecca Dent married an 
Anderson, and her son, John Anderson, inherited the property, and in 
1 77 1 conveyed it to Henry Jackson, a merchant and planter of large 
means, who built the brick mansion now standing in an excellent 
state of preservation. Under the will of Henry Jackson, who died in 
1794, "Beckford" passed to his son, George Wilson Jackson, and he 
in 1803 conveyed it to his brother-in-law, John Dennis. 



John Dennis was a Representative from the Eighth Maryland 
District in the House of Representatives in the Sixth Congress, 1801, 
during the contest for the Presidency of the United States between 
Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr. He served in five other Congresses 
and died in 1807, and under the terms of his will this property passed 
to his son, Robert Jackson Dennis, who sold it to his brother, John 
Dennis, in 1831. John Dennis, the second, was also a member of 
the House of Representatives, for four years, and died in 1859. His 
family continued to reside on the property until 1886, when it was 
sold under a decree of the Circuit Court for Somerset County. 

That part of the farm upon which the dwelling and other buildings 
stand was purchased by H. Fillmore Lankford, who has since resided 
there. The house stands upon the crest of the slope rising from the 
eastern bank of the Manokin River and faces the town of Princess 
Anne. It is a two-story brick structure of colonial design and was 
erected in 1776. The spacious rooms of this mansion are well lighted 
by numerous large and deep-seated windows. The massive doors with 
their quaint locks and bars bespeak the customs and manners of an 
age long since passed. It is surrounded by a most beautiful lawn 
covering an area of five acres and is approached by a long, well- 
shaded lane which leads from Beckford Avenue to the river bank. 
An immense grove of shade and nut trees, some of which are more 
than a century old, covers the lawn. One of these trees, a pecan, 
shades the ground over an area of 120 feet. 

To "Beckford" more than to any other place in this delightful 
Eastern Shore town belongs the honor of keeping alive colonial tradi- 
tions and customs. Here have been entertained men of culture and 
distinction, men of political fame and men of letters. All have come 
and gone realizing the truly genuine welcome of the host and hostess. 


Built about 1700 

COMING with Governor Leonard Calvert and his "Pilgrims" on 
their voyage across the Atlantic in the Ark and the Dove to estab- 
lish the Province of Maryland was Randall Revell, it is said. He was 
called upon to testify at a court held in Accomac in Virginia in 1634, 
giving his age at that time as twenty-one years. In 1662 Randall 
Revell appears as one of the Commissioners for the "Eastern Shore" 
as the territory south of the Choptank and east of the Chesapeake 
was then called. His name does not appear again in the commissions, 
but it is said that he was a Burgess in 1666 when Somerset was created 
a county of the Province. In October, 1665, he was granted "Revell's 
Grove," a tract of 1,500 acres of land, and while he may have held 
land on the Virginia peninsula prior to this, it is the first record of 
his being granted land in Maryland. 

On this tract of land it is said that he built his manor house, 
"Clifton," which stood on the site now occupied by the present house, 
which was built by his son, Randolph Revell, about 1700. The house 
overlooks the beautiful Manokin River, which leads to Princess 



Anne, and is about half a mile from where the river branches. It is 
on one of the few hills in that section of Somerset County, which 
rises to about forty feet above high water. From this old house the 
lawn slopes gradually to the river, about one hundred yards distant. 
From the house a beautiful view of the Manokin River and the sur- 
rounding country is afforded. The house is built entirely of the type 
of English brick so common in colonial times and is a gem of colonial 
architecture embodying all the art known to the builders of the time. 

In addition to this property Randolph Revell was the owner of 
"Arracoco," 2,800 acres, and "Double Purchase," 3,000 acres, which 
were surveyed for him on the iqth of November, 167Q. With the 
exception of Col. William Stevens, to whom was granted over 20,000 
acres, Randolph Revell was the largest landowner at that time in 
Somerset County. He owned in 1679 over 7,000 acres. 

"It would appear," writes one familiar with this family, "that after 
a time the Revells played in hard luck and were forced to sell their 
property and take property of less value in Somerset. However, until 
very recent years the Revells have been large landholders in the 
county and have always taken a prominent part in public affairs. 
Some of the descendants still own land here. "Clifton" is now the prop- 
erty of W. F. Pendleton, who makes his home there." 

Not far from "Clifton" once stood a court house that was the 
seat of justice for Somerset. The foundation of the old building is, 
due to the subsidence of the land, now entirely under water except 
at very low tide. 



AS historically appears to have been the custom in the earliest 
. days of England, when knights of the shire were by royal writ 
first summoned to Parliament and the various counties and shires 
were subsequently laid out and defined by exact boundaries, so the 
County of Dorchester and most of the earlier-formed counties of the 
Province of Maryland seem to have been called into existence by 
writ issued by the Governor and his Council, then sitting at old St. 
Mary's in Southern Maryland, directing the Sheriff named in the 
writ to hold an election for the election of Delegates to the General 
Assembly, in the county named in the writ, without any previous 
precise territorial definition of the county thus designated. 

Thus Dorchester County appears to have been summoned into 
being by a writ issued by Governor Charles Calvert and his Council 
on February 4, i66q, directing the Sheriff of the county to hold an 
election for delegates from that county to attend the General Assem- 
bly of the Province on the following 13th day of April, at the then 
capital of Maryland, St. Mary's, in St. Mary's County. There would 
seem to have been some kind of government already established in 
the locality, as the writ was addressed to "Raymond Staplefort, 
Sheriff of Dorchester County," but no record of the same appears. 
At the session of the General Assembly thus called, on May 6, i66q, 
eight commissioners were appointed to govern the county in all mat- 
ters administrative, civil and criminal, subject only to the Governor 
and Council for the Province. Specifically were they authorized and 
enjoined to inquire into "all manner of felonies, witchcraft, enchant- 
ments, sorceries, magic arts," etc., in the county; arrest the guilty 
and send them to St. Mary's for trial, the commissioners not being 
given powers of life and death. 

Dorchester was named after Sir Edward Sackville, fourth Earl of 

[ 68 ] 


Dorset, a distinguished nobleman and statesman in the reigns of 
James I and Charles I, Kings of England. He was a favorite of the 
latter king, as well as of his consort, Henrietta Maria, after whom 
Maryland was named, and served as Lord Chamberlain to the queen. 
It is not a rash conjecture that one of the largest counties of Mary- 
land may have been so named for him because of this close friendship 
with the queen. The Earl of Dorset was not only an influential states- 
man and counselor to the king, but he is described by Clarendon as 
"beautiful, graceful and vigorous; his wit, pleasant, sparkling and 
sublime. The vices he had were of the age, which he was not stubborn 
enough to condemn or resist." Another writer says of him : "He was 
an able speaker and on the whole a moderate politician, combining a 
strong respect for the royal prerogative with an attachment to the 
Protestant cause and the liberties of Parliament." 

Prior to this time Dorchester formed part of Somerset County, 
being the first child of that county, as was Talbot of Kent County; 
Kent and Somerset, divided by the Great Choptank River, constitut- 
ing the original Eastern Shore of Maryland, and extending from the 
fortieth degree of north latitude to the Virginia line and from the 
Chesapeake Bay to Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. After 
much dispute, what is now known as the State of Delaware was 
removed from under Maryland jurisdiction, and after being sepa- 
rated from Somerset, Dorchester County was bounded by the Great 
Choptank River on the north and northeast, by the Delaware line 
on the east, by Nanticoke River on the south, and the Chesapeake 
Bay on the west and northwest. It embraced the larger part of what 
is now known as Caroline County until in 1773 that county was 
created out of parts of Dorchester and Queen Anne's Counties. Since 
this separation Dorchester has contained 618 square miles, being the 
largest county on the Eastern Shore in area, and the fourth largest in 
the State. Colonists from the western side of the Chesapeake were 
attracted by the low-lying shores on the Choptank River and in the 
lower section of Dorchester County, and quite a large area of land 
had been surveyed and taken up in these localities as early as 1659. 
More than a hundred settlers are shown from the rent rolls of that 
period to have taken up their residence in the territory which in i 66q 
became Dorchester County, and it is estimated that the population 



numbered at least 500 inhabitants. By the last census, (iqio), the 
population was given as 28,669, thus making Dorchester ninth in 
numbers in the State, though still the first on the eastern side of 
the bay. 

On its western side the county was and is guarded against the 
turbulent waters of the Chesapeake Bay by a string of beautiful and 
most fertile islands; cotton, tobacco, figs, pecans, etc., denizens of a 
more southern clime, flourishing luxuriantly in early days side by 
side with the cereal crops — such is the tempered and salubrious cli- 
mate — but these islands have in larger part been washed away by 
storms and the tides of the bay, and they seem destined to final 
extinction as the submergence still progresses and at an even accel- 
erated rate within the last fifty years. By the operation of seismic 
forces the mainland within this fringe of islands, like the islands 
themselves, appears upon all its bay frontage to be gradually but 
steadily subsiding, extensive areas of marsh land, inhabited by fur- 
bearing animals alone, now appearing where prosperous corn and 
tobacco fields were cultivated by the early colonists. This is not 
only known by tradition and the experience of the last fifty or 
sixty years, but is demonstrated by the existence of immense stumps 
of oak and poplar trees, from three to five feet in diameter, found 
in these marshes several feet below the tides, high or low, and which 
indicate a subsidence of at least three or four feet within the last 
200 years. 

In 1684 an Act of the General Assembly was passed to locate a 
town, to be called Cambridge, on the south side of the Great Chop- 
tank River, and in 1686 an act was passed providing for the erection 
of a court house and jail in the new town, which from that time 
became the county-seat, the same having been until then migratory, 
but it was not until 1745 that the village was incorporated. "Village," 
yes, but at that time it had a slightly larger population than "Balti- 
more Town," as indicated by the number of dwellings appearing in 
the old-time sketches of the two towns. The major part of the ancient 
records of the county were consumed when the colonial court house 
was destroyed by fire in 1851, not a vestige of the record of proceed- 
ings of the original commissioner government and of the "county 
court" government, which followed it after the Revolution, having 



been saved. In 1692 the vestry of Great Choptank Parish was 
authorized to use this court house as a place of worship until a church 
should be built. 

Having religious toleration as one of the fundamental principles 
in its charter, it is not surprising that Maryland almost from the very 
beginning was a religious center where people of any religious faith, 
or of no religious faith, could meet on common ground upon terms of 
equality. As early as 1629 we are informed that regular services were 
held on Kent Island, and religious worship seems to have spread 
gradually, but steadily, to other parts of the Eastern Shore, this 
gradual extension undoubtedly being caused by the sparsity of the 
population and the inconvenient methods of travel and intercourse. 
While information as to religious activities of the ante-Revolutionary 
period seems to be lacking, yet we know that during and after the 
Revolution Dorchester County became a center for religious dis- 
cussion. During and at the close of the Revolutionary War, Francis 
Asbury, Freeborn Garrettson and other famous missionaries of the 
Wesleyan Methodist Church repeatedly visited Dorchester, and a 
great religious wave swept over the county. A large proportion of 
the inhabitants attached themselves to that organization, and the 
followers of Methodism largely predominate in Dorchester County 
today. Mr. Garrettson was on one occasion, in 1780, confined in the 
old jail in Locust Street, in Cambridge, (which, as a stable, stood 
until pulled down a few years ago), but, tradition to the contrary 
notwithstanding, his arrest seems to have been more attributable to 
his Toryism than to religious persecution. In 1777 we are told that 
he refused to take the oath of allegiance on conscientious grounds, and 
was told peremptorily that he must take such oath, leave the State 
or go to jail. In spite of these admonitions he continued to preach, 
though frequently subjected to harsh treatment, and was the object 
of suspicion which finally led to his arrest and imprisonment under 
circumstances exciting in their details. George Fox, the celebrated 
Quaker preacher, also appeared, the Cliffs of Calvert and the banks 
of the Choptank being rallying points where with rude but powerful 
eloquence he preached the Gospel to his audience of aborigines and 
white settlers, the heir to the Province on one of these occasions being 
present as a member of the congregation. 



In 1642 it is said that there was not one Protestant clergyman in 
Maryland, but fifty years later, in i6q2, the Church of England 
became by law the established church of the Province. Dorchester 
County was divided into two parishes. Great Choptank Parish and 
Dorchester Parish, a division which remains until the present day. 
So far as can be ascertained, four small churches were established by 
the Church of England in the territory of the county, and one chapel 
of the Church of Rome in the years prior to and shortly following the 
Revolution. One of these Protestant Episcopal churches, (as they 
have been styled since the separation of the colonies from Great 
Britain), built during the reign of William and Mary, and located at 
Church Creek, seven miles from Cambridge, stands intact to the 
present day, and is one of the oldest, if not the very oldest, of the 
original church edifices of Maryland in existence. 

Dorchester County was intensely and enthusiastically devoted to 
the Revolutionary cause and sent her quota of troops to the "Mary- 
land Line" which played so heroic a part in the great War of Indepen- 
dence. To speak of the individuals who were conspicuous in these 
Revolutionary struggles would be beyond the scope of an article 
which is designed to be impersonal in its nature, but it is sufficient to 
say that at every call of the State for troops Dorchester promptly 

The development and growth of a people are affected in a great 
degree by the vocations they pursue, and these vocations are largely 
influenced by the physical characteristics of the territory in which 
they build their homes. The people of Dorchester appear from the 
earliest times to have very largely followed the water, lying as the 
county does between the Chesapeake Bay on one side and the Great 
Choptank River on the other; the river being over two miles wide, 
and until after it passes Dorchester toward its source in Delaware 
more properly an arm of the bay than a river. Besides this it is pene- 
trated by a number of navigable rivers and creeks, and like most 
populations everywhere so situated, the inhabitants seem to have been 
from the beginning a sturdy, independent but peaceable people, living 
on excellent terms with the Indians in their midst as well as with 
themselves and neighbors. The life of the people was a country life 
and little has come down to us concerning their peaceful existence. If 




the annals of a happy people are meager, then we may infer that the 
people of early Dorchester lived happy and contented, and we may 
surmise that their life was much of that character described by John- 
son in his book on "Old Maryland Manors," where he says: 

The first generation of Maryland planters led that sort of hand-to- 
mouth, happy-go-lucky existence that marked the beginning of all the 
colonies. Until means became adapted to ends, but little comfort and 
still less culture were to be found. Many of the earliest settlers of high 
consideration made their cross-mark on titles, deeds and conveyances. 
Their ignorance, however, was the knowledge of the class from which the 
best born of them sprang — the English country gentry of the seventeenth 

In those early days the growth of tobacco and corn was the prin- 
cipal occupation of the owners of the land. These were mostly farmers 
as distinguished from planters, most of the grants being of small acre- 
age as compared with the grants in the sister Colony of Virginia, and 
of the few large grants most of them became largely subdivided long 
before the Revolution. From Cambridge to the bay shore the soil is 
a stiff, white clay, while above the town it is lighter until it becomes 
extremely sandy as it approaches the Delaware line. About three- 
fourths of the county is perfectly flat, without an elevation upon it, 
while the remainder is slightly undulating in character. 

Dorchester County has sent seven of her sons to Annapolis as 
Governors of Maryland, besides a long array of distinguished men to 
the service of the government of the Union, but as these were all 
post-Revolutionary in their political and military careers, simply this 
reference is made to them, as the object of this work, as I understand 
it, is purely colonial in scope and limited to the early records of the 
several counties of the Eastern Shore of Maryland. 



Built about 1740 

THIS old home takes its name, presumably, from the famous War- 
wick Castle in England, and is situated at the picturesque junction 
of Secretary Creek with the Choptank River, about a mile from the 
quaint little village of Secretary in upper Dorchester. The history 
of ''Warwick Manor" is almost as old as the history of Dorchester 
County itself, being one of the first manors granted in the county. 
This estate, the ancestral home of the Hooper family of Maryland, is 
particularly interesting, not only because of its antiquity but as hav- 
ing been the home of men whose valuable services to the State are a 
brilliant part of its history. At one time this land was the property 
of Henry Sewall, Secretary of the Province of Maryland. 

Before the middle of the eighteenth century the estate was bought 
by Col. Henry Hooper, whose ancestors had come, in the last half of 
the preceding century, from Southern Maryland, renamed ''Warwick 
Fort Manor," and built the present house. Colonel Hooper was 
one of the leading men in Maryland at that time. His son, also 



named Henry Hooper, who inherited the property, became even 
more prominent in public affairs. He took an active part in the 
struggle for independence, was a member of the Association of Free- 
men, a delegate to the first Maryland Provincial Convention and a 
member of the Council of Safety. In 1776 he was made brigadier- 
general of militia of the lower half of the Eastern Shore. 

Passing at the death of General Hooper, in 1790, into the hands of 
his son, Henry, the estate was divided by him and sold in different 
parcels. In the course of time it passed entirely out of the hands of 
the family, and has since had a number of owners, among whom was 
Richard Hughlett, of the well-known Hughlett family of Talbot 
County, and John Webster, the largest landowner and one of the 
wealthiest men of his day in Dorchester. He devised it to Mrs. 
Martina Hurst, of Baltimore. In the last few years it has met the 
fate of so many of these old places, coming to have only a commercial 

At the time '^Warwick Fort Manor House" was built the Choptank 
Indians were roaming the forests that surrounded it. Colonel Hooper 
evidently recognized the necessity for providing adequate defense 
against possible attacks of these hostile neighbors. The walls, built 
of English brick, are two feet in thickness; the massive doors, made 
of diagonal timber, have hinges four feet in length, and stout iron bars 
on the inside. No expense was spared in making the interior attrac- 
tive. The rooms were finished in rosewood and mahogany, while the 
paneled walls, handsome mantels and deep window-seats are fine 
specimens of colonial architecture. The most striking feature of the 
house, however, is the hall with its beautiful winding stairway fin- 
ished with mahogany rail and banisters. Although it has echoed to the 
tread of the belles and beaux of two centuries its beauty is unimpaired. 

Like most of these old places ''Warwick Fort Manor House" has a 
"haunted chamber" and traditions of buried treasure. Linked as it is 
with the names of men who have helped to make Maryland history, 
surrounded by the halo of romance of "ye olden time," its fate is now 
in the balance, dependent upon its future owners. 



STANDING in what is now the center of the business section of 
Cambridge, the "Old Dorchester House" is of peculiar interest 
to the people of the county because of its connection with past his- 
torical events. Available sources of information indicate that it was 
erected about the middle of the eighteenth century, the name of its 
constructor being perpetuated by Muir Street. The interior evidences 
the cultivated taste of its builder. It is paneled throughout, orna- 
mented with hand carving and colonial mantels, has deep window- 
seats and fireplaces in nearly every room. 

This house was once the home of Thomas Nevitt, and later of 
Gustavus Scott, of the Continental Congress, and of Dr. Joseph Muse. 
Under Dr. Thomas White, it became a hotel, and on its spacious lawn 
old-time rallies of the Democrats were held. A week-long discussion 
with the Whigs on the work of the Constitutional Convention of 1850, 
in which noted local orators of both sides appeared, is a feature of the 
political history of the "Dorchester House." John Bradshaw also 
used it as a hotel, and then it was long occupied by David Straughn. 


Built 1706-10 

AT the intersection of the Choptank River and Cambridge Creek, 
i\ taking its name because of this situation, stands the justly famous 
"The Point" — the oldest remaining dwelling of the original houses of 
Cambridge. Its claims to distinction are not entirely confined, how- 
ever, to its antiquity, as it has been the home of men whose illustrious 
names appear with unusual prominence upon the annals of the county 
and State. 

The larger part of the house was built between 1706 and 17 10 by 
Col. John Kirk, then Lord Baltimore's agent for Dorchester County. 
Two additional rooms were built by Robert Goldsborough about 
1770, and some years later — 1796 — when it became the property of 
James Steele, the handsome addition of two large and beautiful rooms 
and a large square hall was made by him. Almost a century later Dr. 
William R. Hayward further improved the house by the addition of 
a library, while modern conveniences have been supplied in recent 
years. All of these improvements were made, however, without 
departing from the architectural style of the oldest part of the dwell- 



ing. This part, though a wooden structure, is built of such solid 
timber that it will probably last longer than many of the houses 
erected in the last quarter of a century. 

The interior of this fine old home reflects the highly cultured 
taste of its respective owners. Most of the rooms are heavily paneled, 
with deep windows, brass-mounted doors, colonial mantels and quaint 
nooks and corners. A handsome mahogany stairway rises from the hall, 
and antique furniture makes "The Point" a veritable treasure house. 

"The Point" was inherited from Col. John Kirk by his only 
daughter, who married the Rev. Thomas Howell, the first rector of 
the historic church at Church Creek and the first Episcopal church 
in Cambridge. He planted a double row of cedars around the two- 
acre grounds of "The Point" and a cross of cedars in the center. 
When these grew up, in the course of years, they formed a gigantic 
cross, the trees measuring three feet in diameter. Unfortunately, 
they have been the special mark of lightning, and only the stumps 
remain. Mr. and Mrs. Howell sold the property to Mr. Orrell, a 
merchant, from whose heirs it was purchased by Charles Golds- 
borough, Clerk of the Circuit Court, who, at his death, bequeathed it 
to one of his sons, the talented Robert Goldsborough, who married 
Sarah Yerbury, of England. Robert Goldsborough, a famous lawyer, 
was a member of the Continental Congress and of the Council of 
Safety; also a member of the Convention of the Province of Mary- 
land, held in Annapolis in 1776. when he is said to have been largely 
instrumental in framing the first Maryland Constitution. 

His son, William Goldsborough, became the next owner of "The 
Point," from whom it was purchased in 1796 by James Steele, the 
ancestor of the Steeles of Dorchester and Anne Arundel counties. One 
of his sons, Henry Maynadier Steele, married the daughter of Francis 
Scott Key, and to him his father bequeathed "The Point." Removing 
to Anne Arundel County, Mr. Steele in 1822 sold the place to William 
W. Eccleston, Register of Wills for Dorchester. It then passed to 
his widow, who left it to her daughter, Mrs. Eliza Hayward, wife of 
Dr. William R. Hayward, Commissioner of the Land Office from 1870 
to 1884. It has since been owned by the descendants of Mrs. Hay- 
ward, being the residence at present of her daughter and son-in-law. 
Col. and Mrs. Clement Sulivane. 


Built Prior to i 

VISIBLE for miles to those who travel the waters of the Great 
Choptank River — the beauty of which river at this point has been 
compared to that of the Bay of Naples — the estate of "Hambrook," 
the ancestral home of one branch of the Henry family, has compelled 
the admiration of visitors to Cambridge and has been a source of 
pride to its residents. Most of them cherish memories and traditions 
of its wide lawns, its flower gardens and tree-bordered walks, its 
cultured and distinguished guests, and its open-hearted hospitality. 

The original tract of "Hambrook," known in the earliest records 
as "Busby," included much of the surrounding territory, since divided 
into several places, and was leased about 1700 from William Dorring- 
ton by John Hambrook, from whom it takes its name. This lease was 
shortly afterward confirmed by deed. The destruction of old wills by 
the burning of the court house has hampered the work of tracing the 
history of "Hambrook," as it has those of most of the places in Dor- 
chester. Therefore, the next owner of whom there is a record was 
Elizabeth Caile, who transferred it in i/qb to William Vans Murray. 



Later it became the property of Isaac Steele and was inherited by 
his niece, Catherine Steele. In 1812, when Catherine Steele was a 
minor, the place was sold to John Campbell Henry, son of Governor 
John Henry, of "Weston." "Weston," on the Nanticoke, was burned 
by the British in 1780. 

Soon after his marriage to Miss Mary Nevitt Steele, daughter of 
James Steele, of * The Point, "in 1 8 1 2, Mr. Henry took up his residence 
at "Hambrook," where he lived the life of a country gentleman, 
dying in 1 857. A large and interesting family grew up at "Hambrook" 
during that time. The estate was left by Mr. Henry to his son, Daniel 
Maynadier Henry, who long devoted his talents to public affairs, 
serving in both branches of the State Legislature and for two terms — 
Forty-fifth and Forty-sixth Congresses — as a member of the House 
of Representatives. 

Social life among the residents of the old estates of Dorchester 
and adjoining counties often resulted in closer union. Thus it was 
that Daniel M. Henry married Susan, only daughter of William 
Goldsborough, of "Myrtle Grove," Talbot County, they being the 
parents of Judge Winder Laird Henry, a Representative in the Fifty- 
third Congress, lately of the bench of the First Judicial Circuit and 
the Maryland Public Service Commission, and President of the East- 
ern Shore Society. 

"Hambrook" was sold by the Henrys to Dr. Edward S. Waters, of 
Baltimore, who made it his home for a number of years. Since then it 
has passed through several hands, it being now owned and occupied by 
Commodore Slagle, of Baltimore. Tradition is responsible for the as- 
sertion that the tenant house on the place is part of the original house — 
a frame building of the old hip-roof style, built by John Hambrook. 

The present dwelling was built by Isaac Steele. He died there in 
1806. ''Hambrook" was enlarged and improved by John Campbell 
Henry, and both the house and the place greatly beautified and 
adorned by Mrs. Frank M. Dick of New York, who owned the place 
for some years. The possibility of adding modern conveniences and at 
the same time preserving the colonial features of the building has 
been fully demonstrated. So well has this been done that, unlike so 
many of the old buildings which are but relics of their former glory, 
"Hambrook" today is a magnificent home of the colonial type. 


Built 1730 

SHORTLY after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes Monsieur 
Anthony LeCompte, a French Huguenot refugee, fled to this coun- 
try to escape the persecutions of the time. That he was a man of 
importance and large possessions was evident, as he brought with 
him so many retainers that it took several ships to carry them. Land- 
ing first in Calvert County he soon removed to Dorchester and was 
granted a patent for a large tract of land on the Choptank River, 
eight miles from Cambridge. The estate of "Castle Haven" was a 
part of this tract of land, but efforts to unearth something of its 
ancient history have been unavailing. 

In the early part of the nineteenth century, however, "Castle 
Haven" was the residence of the Rev. James Kemp, one time rector 
of Great Choptank Parish, and afterward Bishop of Maryland. The 
records show that he lived there for some years prior to 1818, at which 
time he sold the place to Levin and Mary Jones. It passed through 
so many hands after this, that space will not permit the mention of 
all those who have owned it. 



It was for some years the summer home of Governor Thomas 
King Carroll, a native of Somerset County, then living in Baltimore. 
Among those owning it in later years was Wilbur F. Jackson. At his 
death it became the property of his widow and daughter — the latter 
the wife of Mayor James H. Preston of Baltimore City. Oscar F. 
Turner, of Baltimore, was the next purchaser, and several years ago it 
was bought by Mr. and Mrs. Henry A. Harrison of New York, who 
now make it their home. 

Although there is no definite proof, it is generally accepted that 
the house at "Castle Haven" was built about 1730. The main build- 
ing is of brick, and has been left practically the same, though it was 
enlarged by Mr. Jackson. The rooms of the old house are large and 
very beautiful, having the characteristic colonial architectural fea- 
tures. The library is especially worthy of note and commands a 
splendid view of the river where, in the old days, the passing steamers 
put off visitors and household supplies at the place. 

Yielding almost every crop, fruit and vegetable known on the 
Eastern Shore in profusion and of the finest quality — with an abun- 
dance of oysters, fish, and wild-fowl at the very doors, with huge old 
trees and shrubbery of all kinds beautifying the spacious lawns; 
nature has lavished her gifts on the spot, making it an ideal place for 
a home. Far from the noisy haunts of men, reposing under the bright 
sunshine or the softened radiance of the moonlight — fanned by health- 
giving breezes, and breathing the spirit of elegant leisure — it is indeed, 
as its name suggests, a veritable haven of refuge for those "hackney'd 
in business, wearied at the oar." 

^ ^ m m 


Granted to Col. Thomas Ennalls 

WASHED by the waters of the Choptank River, a few miles from 
Cambridge, and separated by its extensive acres from the State 
road leading to the upper section of Dorchester, lies "Eldon," one of 
the show-places of the county, and the home for generations of those 
who have been prominent in the social life of their times. 

The original tract granted to Col. Thomas Ennalls, whose ances- 
tors came in the early part of the seventeenth century to Dorchester 
from Virginia, embraced what is now "Shoal Creek" and other adja- 
cent places, extending as far as Secretary. From the Ennalls are 
descended branches of the Goldsboroughs, Hoopers, Bayards, Steeles, 
Muses, and other influential families of the Eastern Shore, so that 
"Eldon" became associated in an unusual degree with the affairs of 
the county and State. 

Its fame, however, was not confined to this locality, as it became 
in later years, through his marriage to Miss Ennalls, the property 
of one of the Bayards of Delaware whose distinguished relatives were 
frequent visitors there both during his proprietorship and after it 


became the property of James Billings Steele. At that time 3,000 
acres were attached to the place. 

James Billings Steele won for his bride the daughter of Robert 
Goldsborough, of "Horn's Point," and granddaughter of Dr. William 
Smith, first president of Washington College and first provost of the 
College of Philadelphia, thus connecting two of the most notable 
estates in the county. When purchased by Dr. Francis P. Phelps in 
1836 there were 800 acres surrounding the manor house. The reputa- 
tion of their predecessors for unbounded hospitality was sustained by 
Dr. Phelps and his heirs. He was a noted physician, for several 
terms a member of the House of Delegates and twice State Senator. 
The handsome old manor house was especially noted for the beauti- 
ful ball-room, where the beauty and chivalry of the county frequently 
gathered to "chase the glowing hours with flying feet." It was in this 
room that the attractive daughter of Dr. Phelps, Miss Annie Phelps, 
became the bride of James Wallace, a brilliant member of the Cam- 
bridge bar, who afterward became State Senator, and a colonel in the 
Civil War. 

That house met the same fate as those at "Horn's Point" and 
"Weston," it having burned to the ground — St. Patrick's Day, 1846. 
Immediately thereafter Dr. Phelps erected upon the same site the 
commodious dwelling of the present day, its large parlors and spacious 
halls being admirably suited for upholding the traditions of the past. 
Surrounded on two sides by Hurst Creek, known in the earliest 
records as "Kitty Willis Creek," the lawn at "Eldon" is unsurpassed 
by that of any place in Dorchester. 

Charles Goldsborough, of ''Shoal Creek," (8 January-io December, 
1 8 iq), and John Henry, of "Weston," (28 November, i7q7-i4Novem- 
ber, 1798), were two of the seven Dorchester Governors, The others 
have been Thomas King Carroll, (15 January, 1830-13 January, 
183 1); Thomas HoUiday Hicks, (13 January, 1858-8 January, 1862); 
Henry Lloyd, (27 March, 1885-11 January, 1888); Phillips Lee 
Goldsborough, (10 January, iqi2-i2 January, 1Q16); Emerson C. 
Harrington, from 12 January, iqi6. 



Built about i 760 

IN the latter part of the seventeenth century, or early in the 
eighteenth, William Murray, a cousin and ward of the then chief 
of the Clan Murray in Scotland, arrived in Maryland and became 
the owner of a large tract of land in Dorchester known as "Ayreshire," 
of which the estate of "Glasgow" is a part. William Murray was the 
grandfather of one of the most illustrious men Dorchester ever pro- 
duced — ^William Vans Murray, Minister to Holland, (17Q7-1801), and 
one of the negotiators of the French Treaty of 1800. Born in Cam- 
bridge in 1762, he studied law at the Temple in London, began prac- 
tice at Cambridge in 1785, served in the Second, Third, and Fourth 
Congresses as a Representative, and died at Cambridge in 1803, when 
only forty-one years of age. 

"Ayreshire" was inherited by the sister of William Vans Murray, 
Henrietta Murray, who married Dr. Robertson, of Somerset County, 
but continued to live at "Ayreshire." One of the interesting features 
of the old house at "Glasgow" today is a window-pane upon which 
has been scratched, (evidently with a diamond ring), these lines: 



"Henrietta R. Robertson — October 14th, 1827. The last winter Henry 
is to attend lectures in Baltimore." Incidentally, it may be men- 
tioned here that this Henry was her son, who became a distinguished 
clergyman in the Protestant Episcopal Church, settled in Alabama, 
and founded a family which has since become large and influential. 

In 1840 the estate of "Ayreshire" was purchased from Dr. Robert- 
son by Dr. Robert F. Tubman, a prominent physician of the southern 
part of the county. Some years later, desiring to divide the property 
between two of his sons. Dr. Tubman, in order to distinguish the 
divisions, called one "Glasgow" and the other "Glenburn." "Glas- 
gow" was the part of the estate upon which the house stood, and this 
became the property of Robert C. Tubman and "Glenburn" that of 
Benjamin Gaither Tubman. At the time of its purchase by Dr. 
Tubman, the whole place contained about 800 acres. At the present 
time there are 265 acres attached to "Glasgow." The growth of 
Cambridge in that direction has greatly enhanced the value of the 
property. In accordance with provisions made by Dr. Tubman the 
children of Mr. and Mrs. Robert C. Tubman inherit the property 
after the death of their parents. Robert E. Tubman, president of the 
Robert E. Tubman Company of Baltimore is one of these heirs and 
is now in possession of the home place. 

"Glasgow" adjoins "Hambrook." Many handsome bungalows 
and "shore" houses have in recent years been erected upon the beauti- 
ful sites of the "Hambrook" estate. The house at "Glasgow," from 
all accounts, must have been built prior to 1760. It is of brick, with 
walls a foot thick, and the floors throughout are of solid black wal- 
nut. It has massive doors, and the large wainscoted rooms are 
adorned with colonial mantelpieces and deep windows. The house 
contains sixteen large rooms, and it is an interesting fact that the 
former owner, Robert C. Tubman, and all his children were born in 
the same room. While modern conveniences have been added in recent 
years, the original house is unchanged. A boulevard connecting the 
town with "Hambrook," passes through the "Glasgow" estate. This 
beautiful old country home has been in the Tubman family and con- 
tinuously occupied by them for a period of nearly eighty years. 


Built about 1680 

IN the latter part of the seventeenth century the English settlers, 
bringing with them from the old country their church devotion, 
had arrived in sufficient numbers on the Eastern Shore to necessitate 
the building of places of worship. One of the first of these, the 
original walls of which are still standing, dating back to about 1680, 
is situated in south Dorchester, near the little town of Church Creek. 

Two centuries have elapsed since the doors of Trinity Episcopal 
Church, familiarly known as "The Old Church," were first opened 
for divine service, and while it has at times fallen into a sad state of 
decay, it has always been rescued by those who felt the silent and 
pathetic appeal of its crumbling walls. 

The exact date of its erection cannot be determined, owing to the 
loss of the earliest records. The building was at first cruciform in 
shape, but in the middle of the nineteenth century one wing was 
removed, giving it a curious architectural appearance. At that time 
the interior was remodeled, and in the effort to improve it, many of 
its most attractive features were destroyed. The high-backed pews, 



the high pulpit with its sounding-board, and the gallery with steps 
leading up from the outside were all sacrificed to modern ideas. At 
the same time the tiled floor was covered with boards. When the 
church was repaired in the summer of 1914 it was the desire of those 
in charge of the work to restore the original tiles, but this had to be 
abandoned owing to the crumbling of the bricks. April 17, 1853, the 
church was reconsecrated by the Right Reverend Henry J. White- 
house, Bishop of Illinois, and first given the name of Trinity. 
Visitors to the church are shown with much pride a handsome red 
velvet cushion said to have been sent to it by Queen Anne, and upon 
which she is said to have knelt to receive her crown. It is of royal 
quality velvet and in a perfect state of preservation. 

In 1914 this historic and venerated church was in imminent danger 
of collapsing, but a few of those who were deeply interested in its 
preservation succeeded in raising a fund to put it in perfect order so 
that it will now stand for another half century, at least. Those who 
wander around the cemetery surrounding the church find an un- 
written poem as perfect as Gray's immortal "Elegy in a Country 
Churchyard." It is the resting place of one of the governors of the 
State, Thomas King Carroll, and there stands the beautiful monu- 
ment erected by a grateful people to his son. Dr. Thomas King 
Carroll, notable as being the only one in this section of the country 
erected to a physician by the unsolicited offerings of his patients 
and friends. In a far corner are the graves of several soldiers of the 
Revolution, and scattered about are the graves of those who once 
wore the Blue and the Gray. 

) ■ I 



., , .,. ■(■■IF' , 

^i i 

■ •■"%?#« 


t . ^^m 



1 . * vHHH| 





Built about 1725 

UNTIL 1684 Somerset County claimed "Nanticoke Hundred" in 
Dorchester. The dispute over the territory was finally settled 
by a commission, which decided that the northeast branch of the 
Nanticoke River was the boundary and not North-West Fork. 

One of the most prominent families living in this vicinity were 
the Lees, allied with the distinguished Lee family of Virginia. A tract 
of 2,350 acres, known as "Rehoboth," was patented to Capt. John 
Lee in 1673, upon which fifty years later was built the quaint old brick 
house, which is unchanged and in a perfect state of preservation at 
the present time. 

[ 8g ] 


Upon the death of Capt. John Lee the estate was inherited by 
his brother. Col. Richard Lee, of "Mount Pleasant," Virginia, who 
had large holdings in that State in addition to this property. Dying 
in 1 7 14, he devised the place to his son, Philip, who then lived 
in Prince George's County, Maryland, and who died in 1 744, leaving 
to each of his sons, Corbin, John, George and Francis, and to his 
grandson, Philip Lee, portions of the estate. 

Thomas Lee, son of Richard Lee II, the father of Richard Henry 
Lee and Francis Lightfoot Lee, both of whom were signers of the 
Declaration of Independence, owned 1,300 acres of "Rehoboth," 
which he left at his death in 1770 to his eldest son, and entailed it 
on his second and third sons. Thus Philip Ludwell Lee became the 
next owner of the 1,300 acres, but the record of his disposition of the 
estate has been lost. 

Francis Lee was living upon his share of the original estate in 1 745 
when he was a member of the Assembly of Maryland ; at his death in 
1 749 the property passed to his son, Francis Leonard Lee. The 
land records of Dorchester County show that Lettice Corbin Lee, 
sister of Philip, sold in 1787 "a tract of land of 200 acres called 
'Rehoboth' " to John Smoot, which seems to have ended the owner- 
ship of the Lees. 

The next owner of whom there is a record was Major Frank Turpin, 
who was first a captain in the militia of Dorchester County during 
the Revolutionary War, when the house was a rendezvous for many 
military men. Major Turpin, who died in 1829, was interred on the 
estate which has since been known as the "Turpin Place" and has had 
numerous owners. 

Situated upon the banks of the Nanticoke River, the venerable 
old house is visible from both the little towns of Eldorado and Brook- 
view. Besides the usual carved wainscoting, high mantelpieces, and 
deep windows, indicative of the colonial period, it has a distinctive 
feature especially worthy of note. Over the mantels in the parlor 
and dining-room, built into the walls, are panel-paintings, which seem 
to be reproductions of some magnificent country estate of the old Eng- 
lish type, and "thereby hangs a tale" which, because of its antiquity, 
will doubtless never be revealed. 




CECIL County was named for Cecilius Calvert, the first Proprie- 
tary of the Province of Maryland, and was erected by proclama- 
tion the 6th day of June, 1674. Within the bounds laid down in this 
proclamation all of the present County of Kent was inadvertently 
included. The bounds given in the proclamation are as follows : "that 
from the mouth of the Susquehanough River and so down the eastern 
side of the Chesapeake Bay to Swan Point and from thence to Hell 
Point and so up the Chester River to the head thereof is hereby 
erected into a county and called by the name of Cecil County." This 
proclamation was met with such a storm of protest from the inhabi- 
tants of the lower part of the present County of Kent that the Proprie- 
tary in less than two weeks issued an order, dated June iq, 1674, 
giving back to Kent the territory she had held for so many years. 
Within the lines was part of Baltimore County, which at its creation 
in 165Q included all of the Eastern Shore north of a line in Kent 
County drawn from about the head of Fairlee Creek to the Chester 
River near where Chestertown now stands. Land records are to be 
found in the Baltimore City Record Office covering the sale of lands 
along the Sassafras River, and indeed along both sides of Worton 
Creek, prior to 1674. 

In the erection of Cecil County it is quite possible that Cecilius 
Calvert wished to have a permanent monument bear his name. He 
was then getting to be an old man and had been Proprietary of the 
Province for forty-two years. Through the most difficult situations 
he had watched the varying fortunes of his favored land, Maryland. 
No doubt this opportunity to have his name perpetuated appealed 
strongly to him and strange to say he lived only a year after the 
proclamation erecting the county was issued. He died November 30, 



In striking contrast to the rolling and level lands of Kent, Queen 
Anne's and Talbot, Cecil's hills along the Susquehanna furnish the 
setting for as beautiful scenery as is to be found along the famous 
Hudson River. Hills are also to be found along the Elk and Sassafras 
and these rivers are indeed two beautiful bodies of water. There are 
many, many miles of water front to this delightful county and here 
have come since the founding of the Province men of distinction and 
fortune and set up their homes on Cecil's fair lands that overlook 
the waters of the Chesapeake, the Susquehanna, the Shannon, the 
Elk and the Sassafras. To these waters John Smith, in 1608, came 
on his voyage of discovery, having been sent up the Chesapeake Bay 
to make a map of it and its tributaries. His description of the 
country, of the Indian inhabitants, of the wild game and the wild 
fowl, furnishes most entertaining reading, and is said to be the 
earliest description of that part of Maryland now within Cecil 

Years after John Smith had visited this country around the head 
of the Chesapeake one Bohemian, Col. Augustine Herman, came 
through the county on his way to St. Mary's City, then the capital 
of the Province, having been commissioned by the Dutch at New 
York to take up some business with the Proprietary. A few years 
later Augustine Herman entered into an agreement with the Calverts 
to make a survey of the Province and deliver to them a map setting 
forth the water courses, islands, Indian tribes and villages and other 
interesting data, in consideration for which the Proprietary was to 
give him a large tract of land on the Bohemia River. Upon the com- 
pletion of the map it was taken to London and there engraved and 
printed in 1672. Herman showed by this noteworthy piece of work 
that he was a skilled engineer and with it a very close observer. Copies 
of this map may be seen in the Library of the Maryland Historical 
Society. It is remarkable how closely it approximates the present 
shore lines of the State. 

On his return from England in 1680, Charles Calvert, then Pro- 
prietary of the Province, brought to Maryland with him his kinsman, 
George Talbot, and had surveyed for him a grant of 32,000 acres 
and named it "New Connought." His cousin was described in the 
grant as "George Talbot of Castle Rooney in the County of Ross- 


common in the Kingdom of Ireland, Esq^" To this great tract of land 
Talbot afterward gave the name of "Susquehanna Manor" and his 
grant empowered Talbot to hold both courts baron and courts leet. 

The first settlement in Cecil County was on Palmer's Island, now 
known as Garrett's Island, in the mouth of the Susquehanna River, 
in 1628, just twenty years after John Smith explored the Chesapeake 
Bay. This settlement, like the one on the "Kentish Isle," was one of 
Claiborne's trading posts and at that time was a part of the Virginia 
Colony's lands. The first permanent settlement in what is now Cecil 
County was at Carpenter's Point near the mouth of Principio Creek. 
During the years just after the erection of the county settlements 
were made along the water courses and when the Assembly author- 
ized the erection of some "necessary" towns in 1683, one was laid out 
on ''Captain Jones' Creek," now erroneously called Cabin John's 
Creek, in Elk River. Here in Cecil, as in the other counties, the 
court was held at the houses of different men and for their enter- 
tainment the justices paid in tobacco each year when "the levy was 
struck." At Ordinary Point in Sassafras River a court house was 
standing in the year 1679. This is attested by a Labadist who was 
visiting in the Colonies at the time and describes his experiences in 
crossing the Sassafras River from Ordinary Point on his way to 
Kent County. Later on, 171 7, the court house was taken to Court 
House Point, and the old court house at Ordinary Point was sold at 
public auction in 17 iq. The court was then held at Court House 
Point on "Bohemia Manor," but was later taken to Charlestown and 
thence, June 11, 1778, to ''Head of Elk," a village at the head of 
Elk River. In 1786 the Assembly authorized the building of a court 
house at "Head of Elk" and in 1787 this village became incorporated 
and the name was changed to Elkton. Elkton is now a thriving town 
with a delightful farming country surrounding it and the modern 
improvements and luxuries are everywhere to be seen. 

Charlestown was laid out in 1742 and contains many quaint old 
houses. It was supposed at one time that this location on the North- 
east River, sometime known as the "Shannon," would make a 
metropolis of Charlestown and that Baltimore would never be as 
large. Fredericktown on the Sassafras was laid out in 1736 and like 
Frenchtown and Charlestown was burned by the British in the War 



of 1812-14. It was to the country around Fredericktown that refugee 
Acadians came in 1755 and there are still some of their descendants 
living in the county. It was in Principio that iron was made as 
early as 1 740 and shipped to England. Ore was found in the surround- 
ing counties as well as in Cecil and taken to the Principio Furnaces for 

In the Act of Assembly of 1723, authorizing the establishment of 
a free school in each county, the commissioners named to purchase 
the TOO acres of land on which to build the Cecil School were Col. 
John Ward, Maj. John Dowdall, Col. Benjamin Pearce, Stephen 
Knight, Edward Jackson, Richard Thompson and Thomas Johnson, 
Junior. The land was bought on the south side of Bohemia River in 
Sassafras Neck. There is in the county a great school — the Tome 
Institute, founded through the generosity of one of Cecil's sons, Jacob 
Tome. This magnificent institution is beautifully located on the 
hills along the Susquehanna River above the thriving town of Port 

Another institution of learning in Cecil County is the West Not- 
tingham Academy, which was founded by the Presbyterians in 1741 
for the preparation of young men for the ministry. Its founding is due 
to the Rev. Samuel F"indley, who served as pastor of the Nottingham 
Presbyterian church seventeen years and who was a man of sincere piety 
and intellectual power. The school soon became widely known through- 
out the country and drew to it many students from a distance. Among 
those who received their education there may be mentioned Governor 
Martin of North Carolina, Governor Henry of Maryland, and Dr. 
Benjamin Rush, whose renown is in connection with the University 
of Pennsylvania. 

The Presbyterians of Cecil County look back to the early days of 
West Nottingham, about 1724, with pride, for it was at that place 
and at that time the Scotch- Irish settlers in upper Cecil County laid 
the foundation of Presbyterianism in the county. Under the date 
of March 23, 1724, the following record appears in the minutes of 
the New Castle (Delaware) Presbytery : — 

Ordered that Mr. Houston supply the people at the Mouth of 
Octoraro the fifth Sabbath of May, and Mr. Thomas Evans the third 
Sabbath of April. 



That congregation was later called Lower Octoraro and was a 
branch of West Nottingham. To the energy and personal magnetism 
of the Rev. James Magraw, D.D., born in 1775, more than to any 
other person is due the present strength of Presbyterianism in Cecil 
County. His work from 1801 to 1835 was especially effective in the 
Octoraro Valley and the northern part of the county. 

St. Francis Xavier's Church near Warwick, one of the very 
early Roman Catholic places of worship in Cecil County, was erected 
by the Jesuits. It was in the school connected with this church that 
the first Roman Catholic bishop in Maryland, John Carroll, was 
educated. Bishop Carroll was the founder of Georgetown College, 
in the District of Columbia. 

One of Cecil's sons who has taken his place among the famous men 
of America, James Rumsey, the inventor of steam-driven boats, was 
born near the head of Bohemia River. 

The county responded early to the help of the struggling con- 
federation of colonies in their war against Great Britain in 1776. 
While no battles were fought on her soil, it was, however, due to her 
geographic situation that Cecil was the scene of great activities 
throughout the war. Three battalions of volunteers were raised in 
Cecil, consisting of about 750 men each. Col. Charles Rumsey com- 
manded the Second Battalion, Col. John Veazey, the Eighteenth, and 
Col. George Johnson, the Thirtieth. Col. Henry Hollingsworth was 
the recognized agent in Cecil for the Continental Congress. General 
Washington and that generous and distinguished Frenchman, General 
de La Fayette, were not infrequent visitors to Elkton and the county 
during the Revolution. 

When the Church of England was established in Maryland in 
i6q2 what is now known as St. Stephen's Parish was part of North 
Sassafras Parish, which was then coextensive with Elk, Bohemia and 
North Sassafras Hundreds. 


Granted 1662 

MARYLAND was a British colony and the early settlers came 
from both England and Ireland. To Bohemia belongs the dis- 
tinction of being represented by the first person, Augustine Herman 
by name, who, because of his non-British birth, was obliged to obtain 
citizenship in Maryland by an Act of the Assembly. In his petition, 
1666, for citizenship, he stated that he was born at Prague, in the 
Kingdom of Bohemia, and that his children were born at New York. 
He had gone to New York in the employ of the West India Company 
in 1633, and being a man of strong personality he soon became 
prominent in the affairs of the Dutch settlement on the Hudson 

In 1659 he was sent by Governor Stuyvesant to Governor Calvert 
to "ask in a friendly way the re-delivery and restitution of such free 
people and servants as had taken refuge in the Province of Mary- 
land." It was while on this mission that he was first shown the 
beautiful lands, now in Cecil County but then in Baltimore County, 
that were later to become his own. Augustine Herman was an engi- 



neer of ability and soon after his return to New York he went again 
to see Governor Calvert at St. Mary's City and entered into an 
agreement with him to make a map of Maryland for which he was 
to receive a large tract of land. He began his work on the map at once 
and on the iqth of June, 1662, was granted 4,000 acres on the Elk 
River, which he named "Bohemia Manor." 

Upon that tract he selected a beautiful site on which he built 
his manor house. The view toward the west is out over a broad 
expanse of water and backed by the hills of the western shore of the 
Chesapeake Bay — a view rarely equalled in Maryland. Of the fine 
manor house that he built and which stood for nearly 125 years 
nothing remains save a few scattered bricks to show its original out- 
lines. The grounds around the old manor house were laid out on a 
grand scale, and a park in which many deer were kept was enclosed 
by a high fence near the house where the master could see his pets. 
The present house was built by the Bayards — the present owners. 

The Provincial Assembly in 1671 authorized Augustine Herman 
to build a prison on "Bohemia Manor," twenty feet square, of logs 
in which to keep the "runaways" from the "Delaware and Northern 
Settlements. " The Province was assessed 10,000 pounds of tobacco 
to pay for the building and its maintenance for one year. "Bohemia 
Manor," 1662, "Mill Fall," 1664, "Small Hope," 1664, "Misfortune," 
1678, "Little Bohemia," 1681, "Bohemia Sisters," 1683, granted to 
Augustine Herman, and "St. Augustine's Manor," 1684, granted to 
his son, Ephraim George Herman, were in 1722 all in the hands of 
John Jarward, who married the widow of Augustine Herman. These 
lands comprised about 20,000 acres of the best farm lands of Cecil 
and New Castle (Delaware) Counties, and extended from the Bohemia 
River to near Middletown, Delaware. 

Augustine Herman's wife was Jannetje, daughter of Caspar and 
Judith Varlet, of New Netherlands, who was born in Utrecht, and to 
whom he was married at New Am.sterdam on December 10, 165 1. 
Their five children were Ephraim George, Casparus, Anna Marga- 
retta, Judith and Francina. From this famous Bohemian settler is 
descended many Maryland families, prominent among whom are the 
Bouchelles, Oldhams, Masseys, Bordleys, Thompsons, Stumps, Con- 
stables and Hynsons. 


Built about 1800 

THIS house stands upon the banks of the Elk River, about three 
miles south of Elkton, near the old wharf at Frenchtown, and 
has a varied and interesting history. Just when it was built is not now 
known, but it is constructed on the same general plan as "Holly Hall," 
now the home of Mrs. George R. Ash. It was built on part of the 
estate of Frisby Henderson, who was a very large landowner in this 
part of Cecil. He also owned "White Hall" and "Scotland Point," 
two tracts lying across the Elk River in Elk Neck. 

During the invasion of the Chesapeake Bay by the British fleet 
under Admiral Cockburn, Frenchtown was burned, April 29, 181 3. 
It was defended by a fort constructed of logs, and in which were three 
guns. The soldiers in charge of the fort thought their number too 
small to make a successful defence, left the fort and went to Elkton. 
The sturdy stage drivers and other patriotic men of the town manned 
the guns and made a heroic fight against the British vessels until 
forced by the exhaustion of their ammunition to abandon the fort. 



Strange to say, this house was saved from the torch. It was used 
for a hotel for many years, although built for a residence. 

The Frenchtown and New Castle Railroad, which connected the 
Chesapeake and Delaware Bays, began as a turnpike company organ- 
ized in i8oq, then operating a freight line between Baltimore and 
Philadelphia. The freight was taken on sloops from Baltimore to 
Frenchtown and then by wagon to New Castle, Delaware. There it 
was loaded on vessels for delivery in Philadelphia. When steam was 
applied to boats the "Chesapeake," the first steam-driven boat to 
ply upon the waters of Maryland, made its first trip from Baltimore 
to Frenchtown. In 1824, when General Lafayette came to America, 
he was met at Frenchtown by a committee aboard the steamer 
"United States" commanded by Captain Tripp. Lafayette had 
traveled by stage to Frenchtown. 

Across the Elk River from Frenchtown is a peninsula called Elk 
Neck; the Chesapeake Bay and Northeast River bound it on the 
west and the Elk River on the east. To this part of Cecil have come 
many persons of wealth who found delightful water sites on which 
they have built beautiful homes. E. F. Shanbacher, president of the 
Fourth Street National Bank of Philadelphia, owns "Lower Triumph," 
a tract of 547 acres, which was resurveyed in i6qi for William Dare. 
William Dare was one of the Commissioners of Justice for Cecil 
County at that time and in 1684 had been appointed Sheriff of Cecil. 
He obtained grants for several tracts in the county. 

Properly belonging to the early history of this vicinity is the story 
of the beginnings of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, which now, 
as at the time, (i/qq), the American Philosophical Society of Phila- 
delphia ordered a survey to be made with a view of constructing a 
canal on this route, seems so important to the welfare of the coastwise 
commerce and naval forces of the United States. 

On April 15, 1824, work was begun on the canal under John 
Randel, Jr., a civil engineer of New York. Owing to disagreement 
Randel was relieved as engineer and the work completed Octo- 
ber 17, 1829, under Benjamin Wright. The canal begins at Chesa- 
peake City, in Cecil County, and enters the Delaware Bay at Dela- 
ware City, Delaware. It is nearly fourteen miles long, and cost 


Built 1802 

HOLLY HALL" is one of the fine old places of Cecil and is 
renowned for the genuine hospitality always extended by its 
owners, from Gen. James Sewell, who built the house in 1802, down 
to the present owner, the widow of George R. Ash, of Elkton. "Holly 
Hall" was so named because of the profusion of holly trees growing 
on the place. 

These holly trees, with the immense boxwood hedges, give a very 
picturesque setting for the old mansion. The lawns are beautifully 
kept and the great trees that surround "Holly Hall" add to its charm. 
The house stands on a part of the Rudulph estate, the land being 
owned by Ann Maria Rudulph at the time (1802) she married General 
Sewell. He was a son of Basil and Elizabeth Dawson Sewell, of Talbot 
County, and went to Elkton to live about 1800. 

The newly built State highway which passes along the front of 
"Holly Hall" leads from Elkton through Chesapeake City, on through 
Chestertown, in Kent County, to the lower end of the Eastern Shore. 


Built about 1750 

HENRY HOLLINGSWORTH came to Cecil County about 1700 
and was appointed deputy surveyor for the county in 171 2. 
From him has descended the long line of distinguished citizens of the 
name. His grandson, Col. Henry Hollingsworth built "Partridge Hill" 
prior to 1750. It is situated in Elkton and fronts on Main Street. 
The lot on which the house stands is beautifully laid out in walks 
bordered with boxwood hedges. The house is built of English bricks 
and its most distinguishing feature is its wide colonial hall. From the 
rear of the hall a quaint stairway leads up to the spacious sleeping 
rooms. The furnishings of the house were of the choicest of the 

Col. Henry Hollingsworth married a wealthy woman, Jane Evans, 
of Cecil County, and by her had several children. He was a noted 
patriot and during the Revolutionary War was engaged in the manu- 
facture of gun-barrels and bayonets for the Council of Safety for 
xMaryland. Mistress Hollingsworth was far too particular a house- 
wife to enjoy the books and papers of the Colonel scattered around 



her home, so, during his absence at a session of the Maryland Assem- 
bly, one winter, she had an office built for him adjoining the residence. 
When the Colonel came home he found all his belongings moved into 
the new office, and there they stayed ! 

The grandchildren of Colonel Hoi lings worth, Mary, Jane E. and 
the late John Partridge, inherited "Partridge Hill" and when the 
Partridge estate was settled the property was sold to the late John 
Gilpin. He left it to his sister. Miss Margaret A. Gilpin, the present 


I02 ] 


Built 1768 

AMONG the early houses built at "Head of Elk" is the "Tobias 
L Rudulph House," which stands on Main Street in Elkton. It is 
now used as an office by Henry L. Constable and has been a familiar 
landmark in the town for many years. It was built by Tobias 
Rudulph when there were few houses in the neighborhood and at the 
time it was constructed stood directly on the highway between Balti- 
more and Philadelphia. It is of brick and the style of architecture not 
unlike that of the house at Valley Forge which served as headquarters 
for General Washington. 

In each room there is a quaint fireplace. In the fireplace in the 
parlor there is a cast-iron plate bearing the inscription in raised letters, 

[ 103 ] 


"T. R. 1769." The doors are of heavy oak, fashioned in the antique 
"cross" pattern and the original wrought-iron hinges and latches are 
still to be seen. The stairway evidences the greatest care in building. 
Tobias Rudulph and his three brothers, Bartholomew, Hanse and 
Jacob, settled at ''Head of Elk" and carved out of the forest homes for 
themselves. By the time the Revolutionary War began they had 
established themselves very comfortably in the old settlement at the 
head of the Elk River. In this old house was born to Tobias Rudulph 
two sons, John and Tobias II, and two daughters. Tobias Rudulph 
III, lawyer and poet, was also born there, as was his sisters, Ann 
Maria, who married Gen. James Sewell of "Holly Hall," and Martha, 
who married Rev. William Torbert. The latter's heirs now own the 

John Rudulph served throughout the Revolutionary War as a 
major in "Light Horse Harry" Lee's battalion of light dragoons, 
familiarly known as "Lee's Legion." His cousin, Michael Rudulph 
also served in "Lee's Legion " as a captain. Their courage won for 
them the proud distinction of "Lions of the Legion. " Michael 
Rudulph married a lady of Savannah, Georgia, but their married 
life was not harmonious and he concluded to lead the life of a sea- 
faring man. There is a tradition current in 
Cecil County that Marshal Ney was none 
other than Michael Rudulph. 

This house has been closely connected 
with the political history of Cecil. Eliza 

0* Black Groome, a sister of Governor James 
I i Black Groome, married Albert Constable, a 
J • I noted Maryland lawyer. Governor Groom, 
(4 March 1874-12 January, 1876), had been 
preceded at Annapolis from Cecil by Thomas 
Ward Veazey, (14 January, 1836-7 January, 
183Q), the last Maryland Governor elected 
by the Legislature. Cecil has iiad a third 
Governor, Austin Lane Crothers, (8 January, 
I Q08- 1 o January, i q 1 2) . 




TO Charlestown, at the head of the Chesapeake Bay on the west 
side of Northeast River, the people of the Province looked for 
the eventual metropolis of Maryland. By Act of the Assembly, Sep- 
tember, 21,1 74,2, Col. Thomas Colwill, Capt. Nicholas Hyland, Benja- 
min Pearce, William Alexander, Henry Baker, Zebulon Hollingsworth 
and John Read were appointed commissioners to lay out and erect a 
town at a place called Long Point on the west side of Northeast River. 
Squares were laid off for a court house, a market house and other 
public buildings. A public wharf and store were built, a shipyard was 
constructed and the usual activities consequent caused Philadelphia 
to wonder how soon her trade would be diverted to Charlestown! 
The March term of Cecil Court, 1 78 1 , was held in two rooms rented 
from Alexander Hasson. Charlestown was, however, soon out of the 
race, for, in 1 786, the growth and prosperity of ''Head of Elk," together 
with the influence of the Hollingsworths, demanded the removal of the 
seat of justice to that place. This was done, "Head of Elk" becoming 
known as Elk ton. 


An Original Maryland Parish 

A FEW miles to the north of the Sassafras River stands St. 
Stephen's Church, surrounded by a beautiful grove of trees. All 
around this church for miles in every direction lie the rich lands of 
the southern part of Cecil County. 

This one of the thirty parishes laid out in i6q2 embraced what was 
then known as North Sassafras, Bohemia and Elk Hundreds, and was 
called North Sassafras Parish. Near the present building an old 



church had been standing for some years and when the work of laying 
out the parishes was begun the edifice gave way because of its incon- 
venient location to one built on the land — loo acres — bought of 
William Ward. Although the vestry contracted for a building to be 
erected then, it was not dedicated until March 25, 1706, and it was at 
that time that the parish name was changed from North Sassafras to 
St. Stephen's. 

The first vestrymen of St. Stephen's were elected on November 
22, 1692, and they were Col. Caspar Herman, Maj. John Thompson, 
William Ward, Henry Rigg, Matthias Vanderheyden and Henry Jones. 

After nearly thirty years the vestry contracted, in 1733, ^^^ ^ 
larger church building and the edifice was completed in 1737. In 
1823 this old church became unsafe as a place of worship because of 
its decayed condition, and the vestry determined to take it down and 
rebuild it. The rebuilding of the church was completed and on July 
21, 1824, it was consecrated by Bishop Kemp. That building stood 
until 1873, when the present church was erected. 

In 1744, St. Stephen's Parish was divided and Augustine Parish 
formed of the northern part of the old parish . The chapel on ' ' Bohemia 
Manor" became the parish church of Augustine Parish. The first min- 
ister was the Rev. Lawrence Vanderbush, who was regularly inducted 
into his place by Governor Francis Nicholson, the then Governor of 
the Province of Maryland. Many of the clergy who from time to time 
were rectors of this old parish became famous. The records of the 
parish have been carefully copied and the copies are filed with the 
Maryland Historical Society. There are over 500 different family 
names on the records, among them the following : 









Clark " 


































































Van Bibber 




















Surveyed 1658 

WHERE the Susquehanna empties its swift current into the 
Chesapeake, a colonial mansion stands. On the eastern side of 
the river on Perry Point is the home of the Stumps of Cecil County, 
commanding a beautiful view of the surrounding country, the bay 
and the river. Across on the Harford side is historic Havre de Grace 
and the little white Point Concord Light House, which serves as a 
guide to the watermen of the upper bay. 

"Perry Point," which now contains upward of 500 acres, was 
surveyed July 20, 1658, and then embraced 800 acres. This tract and 
"Perry Neck," which adjoined it and was surveyed for 200 acres 
July 23, 1658, were patented to John Bateman. "Perry Point" was 
purchased by John Stump in 1800 from George Gale, and is still 
owned by the former's descendants. John Stump died at "Perry 
Point" in 1828, and the next owner was his son, John, who married 
Mary Alecia, a daughter of Col. George E. Mitchell and his wife, 
Mary Hooper, of Dorchester. Two of their sons were the late Asso- 
ciate Judge Frederick Stump, of the Second Judicial Circuit, (1867- 

[ 108 1 


iqoi), and Associate Judge Henry Arthur Stump of the present 
Supreme Bench of Baltimore City. John Stump, Jr., and Dr. George 
M. Stump were the second and third sons. 

The progenitor of the family in Maryland, the first John Stump, 
came to America about 1700 and lived near Perryville. From his two 
sons, John and Henry, descended the Stumps of Cecil and Harford. 
Judge Henry Stump, years ago Judge of the Criminal Court of Balti- 
more City, was of this northeastern Maryland family, and two of the 
Harford Stumps widely known in public life are former Congressman 
Herman Stump, United States Commissioner-General of Immigration 
under Cleveland, and his nephew, Bertram N. Stump, now Com- 
missioner of Immigration at the Port of Baltimore. Both John and 
Henry, sons of the emigrant, settled eventually in Harford, and the 
third John, son of Henry, long a Baltimore merchant, married his 
cousin, Hannah, daughter of John Stump and Hannah Husband, who 
was a descendant of Augustine Herman. The six daughters of the 
fourth John, of "Perry Point," were Mary, who married Rev. T. S. C. 
Smith; Anna J., who married William Webster; Henrietta, who mar- 
ried Alexander Mitchell; Katherine W., who married Dr. James M. 
Magraw; Elizabeth H., who married J. Iverson Boswell; and Alicia 
Mitchell Stump. 

The property was in Revolutionary times bounded on the north 
by the old post road that led from Philadelphia to Baltimore and 
Annapolis and along which the troops of the Continental Army 
marched on their way to Yorktown, to assist in the defeat of Corn- 
wallis. A ferry over the Susquehanna was operated during the sum- 
mer months but during winter time travel across the river was carried 
on over the ice. 

George Gale, from whom ''Perry Point" was bought, a Repre- 
sentative in the First Congress, was in 1795 commissioned to purchase 
that part of Whetstone Point in Baltimore, on which Fort McHenry 
is built. In a letter to Robert Purviance, then Collector of the Port 
of Baltimore, Oliver Wolcott, Secretary of the Treasury in President 
Washington's Cabinet, writes under date of March 2, 1795: "I have 
therefore to request that you will consider Mr. Gale as the person who 
is now authorized on the part of the United States to purchase the 
land in question." The fort was then in the course of construction. 

Surveyed 1683 

WHERE the blue hills of Cecil join the gray skyline way up the 
Susquehanna River there stands an old house, built about 1734, 
on the farm known as "Success." Thomas Lightfoot received this 
grant, which was surveyed for him November 3, 1683. It then con- 
tained 300 acres. He also received a grant for an adjoining 600 acres 
surveyed the same day; this property he called "The Land of De- 
light." From Thomas Lightfoot it descended to Thomas Hammond, 
who owned these two properties in 1 722, as will be seen upon reference 
to Lord Baltimore's rent rolls of that year. In 1 734 we find "Success" 
in possession of Thomas Hammond Cromwell, whose descendants, the 
Misses Isabella and Mary H. Nickles, now own the property. 

The Susquehanna River, which is in full view of the old house, 
bounds the farm on the west. To the east is Rowlandsville, a pretty 
little hamlet that nestles in the hills along the banks of the sparkling, 
swift-flowing Octoraro Creek. The main road that leads from Port 
Deposit to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, bounds the farm on the east. 
To the north and adjoining "Success" is the old "Smith's Fort" 



place, which was granted Capt. Richard Smith on the 20th of June, 
1685. There is a tradition current in the neighborhood that the famous 
adventurer, Capt. John Smith, while exploring the Chesapeake Bay 
and the Susquehanna River in 1608, went up to this place in his boats 
and that it is the first place in Cecil County on which a white man 
ever set foot. 

To the south is "Mount Welcome," the homestead of the Halls of 
Revolutionary fame. From these farms along the Susquehanna most 
delightful views of the river and surrounding hills are to be had. The 
old house on "Success" farm is a one-and-a-half story structure with 
hip roof and dormer windows. The property was in the Cromwell 
family for a number of years. They were descendants of Thomas 
Hammond and the old burying ground near the house contains the 
graves of many of that name and a monument has been erected there 
in their memory. 

It is said that Betsy Claypoole, who later became famous as Betsy 
Ross, was a frequent visitor at "Success Farm," and who is it that can 
say she did not cut out the white stars to be sewed on the blue field 
of her flag while she was visiting at this old homestead? 

Close to this farm is the famous "Mount Ararat," in a cave of 
which George Talbot hid when a fugitive from justice. 

He was a reckless character and wound up his career in the 
Province by killing John Rousby. It is said that Talbot hid in a 
cave on "Mount Ararat," overlooking the Susquehanna River, after 
making his escape through the aid of his wife and devoted friends 
from Virginia, where he had been taken for trial. Tradition says that 
he had there a pair of falcons which he sent out from the cave each 
day to procure food for him. He finally fled to Ireland, and was later 
killed in France fighting for Great Britain. 

Around the neighborhood live the Harlans, members of which 
family have become famous in the annals of Maryland history. The 
Rowlands, who lived in the Octoraro Valley, have given to the State 
men who have become prominent as financiers. 

Only a few miles up the Susquehanna there is a bridge across the 
river into Harford County at Conowingo. From this point a splendid 
macadam road, frequented by automobile tourists, leads direct to 



FIRST of Maryland soil to be settled, (Claiborne's settlement, 
August 21, 163 1, on Kent Island); first to have a regular church 
establishment, (from August 21, 1631, Claiborne constantly main- 
tained a clergyman in his settlement); first to resist hostile Indians; 
with the first to resist the British in Revolutionary times, (against 
Lord Dunmore's troops on Cherrystone Creek, Accomac County, 
Virginia, in 1775); resisting bravely the British invasion of August 3 
and 4, 181 3, and doing her part in the Mexican and Civil Wars, 
Queen Anne's County has been to the fore in these and other ways in 
Maryland history. 

Her area consists of 219,072 well-watered acres, divided into 
37,848 acres of woodland and 181,224 acres of farmland. It stretches 
over a clay or sandy loam on a plateau whose greatest height is about 
200 feet. It slopes gently south and southwest to the long and broad 
and deep Chester River. That river and its frequent affluents, the 
habitat of wild fowl, oysters, crabs and terrapin, and the Chesapeake 
Bay and its creeks, give to Queen Anne's County the second longest 
water-shore line in the state — 348 miles. Similarly she holds the rec- 
ord in Maryland for having the second largest percentage of woods to 
farmlands. Contiguously south of her is the gallant little County of 
Talbot, which is first in both of the above particulars and from whom 
and from fertile and far-spreading old Kent to her northward, she 
was created in 1706. 

Resultant from her regional and exceptional percentage as to 
water-frontage and woodland, her well-drained and fertile soil, and 
the tempering influence of the Chesapeake Bay on her westward 
boundary, and because the east winds bring her frequently the fresh 
Atlantic air within an hour, the climate is unsurpassed. There spring 
comes earlier and rude winter enters later than along even the famous 



"North Shore" region of Massachusetts and the brief summer heat 
is tempered by exceptional and flowing streams. Nature smiles in 
beauty, comfort and fertility upon the diligent dweller in the sturdy 
county of "good Queen Anne." 

The price of land is comparatively low. But incoming residents 
will soon advance it. The markets of Philadelphia, Baltimore and 
other cities can be reached with ease that is yearly increasing by- 
railroad, steamboat, sail and power craft. Not only do climatic, 
aesthetic and material advantages of the county beckon to the shrewd 
seeker for a farm, or for a healthy retreat, or for a pleasure home; but 
the charms of many old colonial dwellings add their persuasive em- 
phasis. Has any county in the State so many mellow colonial dwell- 
ings awaiting new owners to arouse them from the enchanted sleep 
on which they fell when the economic changes wrought by the great 
Civil War swept into abeyance her old activities in the handling of 
farming lands? 

In addition there are many of the ancient homesteads yet tended 
lovingly by the families to whom they have long pertained. There 
is "Conquest," an old Emory place, now owned by Frank Emory ; and 
"Readbourne," the old Hollyday place, but owned by John Perry; 
and "Cloverfields," the old Hemsley place, owned by Mr. Callahan; 
and "Reed's Creek" and "Walnut Grove," two of the old Wright 
places, now owned respectively by Mrs. Clayton Wright and by Mrs. 
McKenny, who had first been married to its owner at that time, the 
late Thomas Wright. 

The western half of the "Walnut Grove" house was built soon 
after 1685, I think, and by County Judge Solomon Wright, who 
married Miss Anne Hynson. Solomon Wright came to Maryland in 
1673 with his brother, Nathaniel. In 1677 they were joined by their 
brother, Charles. Nathaniel built that yellow-washed brick house yet 
standing on the farm known as "Tully's Reserve." Charles built the 
"White Marsh" house, now owned and inhabited by Spencer Wright. 
Those three houses are yet in good condition. They are among the 
oldest in the county. Which of them is oldest? "Walnut Grove," I 
think, for Solomon Wright was the oldest brother and "Walnut 
Grove" was the first patented of the properties involved and had 
been taken up even earlier by Thomas Hynson, his father-in-law. 



Solomon Wright had caused it to be resurveyed under the name of 
"Worplesdon" in 1685 and he there resided. I think that it is the 
oldest house in the county. 

Then there is "Melfield House," the old Earle homestead, now 
owned by the widow of William B. Earle. Built by Judge James 
Tilghman, father-in-law of that able and Christian gentleman, Rich- 
ard Tilghman Earle, born June 23, 1767, (Chief Judge of the upper 
Eastern Shore Circuit Court, and consequently a member of the 
State Court of Appeals) , it has since continued to be a most hospitable 
and Christian home. Never was it a better center of neighborhood 
influence than under the mastership of the judge's son, the late and 
venerable Samuel Thomas Earle, grandfather of the publisher of this 
book. Beginning with the polished and able Judge Earle, "Melfield 
House" is closely knit with good and generous living, while the land 
on which it stands carries further back such happy associations, for it 
had long pertained to another fine Maryland influence, the Tilghman 
family, of which the mother of Judge Earle was a gracious member. 
The present occupant is that kindly and active gentleman, William 
B. Earle, great-grandson of Judge Richard Tilghman Earle. 

And there is "The Hermitage," the beautiful cradle of the Tilghman 
family in this country. Taken up in 1659 it has received loving care 
from each of its successive owners ; but none of them has equaled the 
splendid and effective devotion of its present owner. Miss Susan 
Frisby Williams. But as a great-granddaughter of that elegant gen- 
tleman and dashing soldier, the gallant Gen. Otho Holland Williams, 
of "The Maryland Line," and as a representative of the Tilghman 
family as well, her success is easily to be understood, for she is indeed 
"to the manor born." And many are the good and neighborly deeds 
she has done in the county and elsewhere. 

Another family homestead is "Blakeford," patented as "Coursey's 
Neck" in 1658 by William DeCourcy, who, with his brother John, 
patented "Cheston-on-Wye" in the same year. Then, also, his elder 
brother, sometime Secretary of the Province, Henry DeCourcy, was 
given by Lord Baltimore "Coursey's Neck," which passed to William, 
and "My Lord's Gift," which he retained, and which is to the south 
of the present "Blakeford" and just across Coursey's Creek, now 
known as Queenstown Creek. Passing from the DeCourcys to the 



Blakes, who had it resurveyed as "Blake's Fort," it was occupied 
for a while during the Revolution by Judge Solomon Wright of the 
Court of Appeals, (1778-Q2). His mother had been Mary DeCourcy. 
"Blakeford" was reacquired by the son of Judge Solomon Wright and 
Sarah DeCourcy of "Cheston-on-Wye," Governor Robert Wright, 
Revolutionary soldier. United States Senator, member of Congress 
and Circuit Judge. He was great-grandfather of the present owner, 
DeCourcy Wright Thom. 

"Bloomingdale," devised by that well-known character. Miss 
Sallie Harris, to her cousin, the chivalrous and elegant scholar, 
reformer and gentleman, Severn Teackle Wallis, is another notable 
estate. But it is now owned by Hiram G. Dudley. 

I have named but a few of the well-known estates of old Queen 
Anne's. I wish I could mention each on the long list of them. Only 
two more can I take room for: the spacious old red brick "Pratt 
House," now used as the County Almshouse, and the well-known 
"Old Point" house on Kent Island, built in 1 722 by one of the Cockey 
family, some of whose members have owned it ever since. 

And of old churches: there is ancient "Old Wye, ' perhaps one of 
the oldest church buildings in Maryland; and St. Luke's, ancient, too, 
at Church Hill. 

Not only these old estates and churches are vocal with illustra- 
tive doings of the folk of old Queen Anne's County which was chris- 
tened after "good Queen Anne." Around and about Kent Island from 
1634 through 1645 waged the Claiborne-Calvert struggle, and the 
efforts to suppress treason on the Eastern Shore during the Revolu- 
tionary struggle centered around Queenstown, the county-seat, 
whence Judge Solomon Wright, already mentioned, acting by authority 
of the convention as a ''special Judge to try Treasons," attended to 
that work when not serving as a member of the Revolutionary Con- 
ventions in Annapolis. Meanwhile, Matthew Tilghman, born at 
"The Hermitage," was leading all the patriotic forces of the Province 
as president of those conventions, and as chairman of the Committee 
of Safety. 

And literature and arms have shed their luster on the old county. 
Who can forget the trenchant speeches and brilliant writings in prose 
and verse of the gifted Severn Teackle Wallis? And the clever writ- 



ings of Frederic Emory, born at "Bloomfield," now owned by Col. 
John H. Evans, and deceased at "Blackbeard," were good and numer- 
ous, whether in newspaper or in novel or as Secretary of the Pan- 
American Board in Washington. Nor can I forbear to mention that 
quiet gentleman and accomplished scholar, William Hand Browne, 
born at "Bachelor's Hope" and deceased in Baltimore, where he had 
long successfully filled the chair of history at Johns Hopkins Uni- 
versity. More extended histories of Maryland there are than his, 
but none surpass it in accuracy and in fine, full grasp of the spirit of 
our State's development. 

There remains to me to mention the most illustrious of Queen 
Anne's soldiers. Gen. William Hemsley Emory, U.S. Army. He was 
born at "Poplar Grove" and died in Washington. Intending to follow 
his State and having to return from Maryland to his Western com- 
mand, he left his resignation at the beginning of the Civil War in the 
hands of a brother whom he requested to forward it to official head- 
quarters in Washington should Mai^yland secede. Misled as to that 
secession, the brother sent the resignation forward. The Secretary of 
War caused Emory to report to him under arrest and to explain his 
continuance in command of Federal troops. With much difficulty he 
assuaged the official's anger. Emory often distinguished himself in 
the Civil War. He was favorably considered as a possible com- 
mander-in-chief. Secretary of War Stanton opposed his nomination 
to that great office and vigorously asseverated that the record of his 
proffered resignation should forever bar him from the commander- 
ship-in-chief. Such are a few of our worthies. 

But I have too long lingered in the telling of the story of the 
county I love so well. Is the Eastern Shore the modern Eden so often 
mentioned in the kindly badinage of the day? Who shall say us nay? 
But this I can avouch, that in fulness of opportunities to be availed 
of at most moderate prices, there is no portion of that laughing region 
which more than Queen Anne's County deserves the title of "The 
Promised Land." 


Grant 1659 

RICHARD TILGHMAN, an eminent surgeon of London and 
. grandson of William Tilghman, the elder, emigrated to Mary- 
land in 1660. By a patent granted to him January 17, 1659, he came 
into possession of a manor on Chester River, where he settled and 
called his residence "Tilghman"s Hermitage." 

While the original grant to Richard Tilghman, the immigrant 
from Cecilius Calvert called for 400 acres, "The Hermitage" was 
extended to cover many times that area. From an old map in the 
possession of Miss Williams, made in the days when Richard Cooke 
Tilghman occupied "The Hermitage," the adjacent lands were occu- 
pied by the several branches of the Tilghman family, as follows: 

"Waverley," by William Cooke Tilghman; "Greenwood," by 
Henry Cooke Tilghman; "Piney Point," by James Cooke Tilghman; 
"Oakleigh," by John Charles Tilghman. 

"The Hermitage" may properly be referred to as the show-place 
of Queen Anne's County. As you enter the estate the drive up to 
the mansion passes for about a mile through an avenue of enormous 
pines: the Chester River appears in the distance through the vista. 

A gracefully curved cinder road shaded by giants of the forest 



guides you to the mansion. At "The Hermitage" once lived Matthew 
Tilghman, chairman of the Council of Safety, (1775), and a Delegate 
in the Continental Congress. 

The present owner, Miss Susan Williams, is a direct descendant 
of the immigrant, being of the seventh generation in the female line, 
her great-grandmother, Mrs. William Cooke, formerly Elizabeth 
Tilghman, having been the sister of Richard Tilghman V, commonly 
called "the Colonel," who adopted as his heir her son upon condition 
that he would add Tilghman to his name. Colonel Tilghman's only 
son, Richard VL having predeceased his father one year. Hence 
Richard Cooke, (the Colonel's nephew), became first of the branch to 
be known henceforth as the Cooke-Tilghmans. Miss Williams' grand- 
mother was a sister of Richard Cooke Tilghman, and the peculiarity 
of the double coincidence lies in the fact that, whereas the inheritance 
of "The Hermitage' came to this branch through a female, so by a 
strange irony of fate the line becomes extinct through the single 
blessedness of a female. 

Within a few feet of the front porch of "The Hermitage" is the 
Tilghman family burying ground, in which the large marble slabs 
are shaded by weeping willows. In this beautifully kept resting place 
of the dead are buried Dr. Richard Tilghman, the immigrant, and a 
long line of descendants. 



Built about 1731 

THE Chester River, which ranks with the Choptank and the Miles 
in size and picturesqueness, washes the shores of Kent and Queen 
Anne's Counties. Opposite Hail Point, where the Chester makes a 
sharp bend and flows northerly, is Queenstown Creek. On the Queen 
Anne's side of the river there are many noted estates visible from a 
boat going up the river. "Blakeford," "The Hermitage," "Reed's 
Creek," "Recovery," "Winton" and "Conquest" are passed before 
Deep Point is reached. Here the Chester River narrows down to 
about a mile in width. Just above Deep Point is "Indiantown," one 
of the Emory homes, and it is claimed to have been the location of an 
Indian village. About two miles above this point, situated on a ridge 
which runs parallel with and overlooks Chester River, is "Read- 
bourne," which was the HoUyday homestead in Queen Anne's for 
many generations. 

The original grant of "Readbourne" plantation was to George 
Read in 1659, and it is thought the name was taken from the first 
owner. Records state that he died without heirs and, after being 

I iq 


several times transferred, the plantation was bought by Col. James 
Hollyday, (son of Col. Thomas Hollyday and Mary Truman, of Eng- 
land), who had it resurveyed in 1682. The acreage is not given, but it 
is supposed to have been 2,000, and included several of the farms 
lying adjacent. In 1733 Col. James Hollyday with his wife, Sarah 
Covington Lloyd, (widow of Edward Lloyd, of "Wye House," and 
formerly the beautiful Sarah Covington), came to this estate from 
Talbot County to make it their home and built about 1 73 1 the main 
part of the present mansion. The family story goes that Colonel 
Hollyday went to England for materials for building and furnishing 
the new house, while Mrs. Hollyday remained on the plantation with 
her family to supervise the building, having herself planned it after 
consulting with Lord Baltimore. 

The original building is colonial in architecture and finish, with 
very large wainscoted hall and rooms. It has at various times been 
added to and altered, but the main part is still the same that made a 
home through 168 years for seven generations of the Hollyday family. 
Brick foundations of smaller buildings can be traced in the lawn and 
are probably those of the kitchen and dairy, which were connected 
by covered ways with the dwelling. There still remain ruins of one of 
these buildings, known as the "Old Store," supposed to be those of a 
storehouse for supplies ordered from England, which had to be gotten 
in quantity because of the infrequent opportunity. In the old wall 
which probably inclosed the riverside lawn are bricks of English 
pattern, which, like those in the upper walls of the original building, 
are traditionally supposed to have been brought from abroad by 
Colonel Hollyday. Less than half of one side of the lawn wall is 
now standing. 

The last of the Hollyday family to own and live at "Readbourne" 
was the late Richard Hollyday, whose daughter, Margaret, married 
Dr. James Bordley, Jr., of Baltimore, who was the second President 
of the Eastern Shore Society of Baltimore City. In iqo3 "Read- 
bourne" was sold to John M. Perry, of Queen Anne's County, a mem- 
ber of the State Roads Commission under Governor Goldsborough. 
Mr. and Mrs. Perry make "Readbourne" their summer home. 


.":'% V .'■♦* 

Built 1722 

KENT Island ! What a wealth of legendary lore and of interesting 
historical stories have been told of this old island, the place of 
the first settlement made in the State of Maryland ! 

Like a flash the mention of Kent Island brings Claiborne and his 
endeavors to your mind. And with him come visions of a host of 
Indians in canoes with beaver and otter skins, of squaws with 
papooses. The pipe of peace, the stories told by the Indians about 
the big game of the forests and about the "Mother of Waters" — the 
Chesapeake. You see the barges of the Proprietary approach the 
island to subdue Claiborne's insubordination, at which time the flag 
of the Baltimores was first flown aloft on a military errand. These 
and countless other incidents pass in quick succession as you recall 
from the past the colonial days of old Kent Island. 

In 163Q a court was held in Kent Fort. In 1640, 1,000 acres, 
called "Kent Fort Manor," was surveyed for Giles Brent. Upon the 
building of a tobacco warehouse on Coxe's Creek and the establishing 

[12.] ■ 


of a town in 1684 by Act of the Colonial Assembly on that branch of 
Eastern Bay that part of the island became thickly settled. 

Among the first settlers here were the Eareckson, Carvil, Kemp, 
Legg, Tolson, Cockey, Stevens, Weedon, Denny, Bright, Skinner, 
Chew, Cray, Bryan, Winchester, Wright, White, Price, Thompson, 
Sadler (now spelled Sudler), Ringgold, Goodhand and Osborne families 
and many others that have died out. 

One of the early settlers, Capt. Edward Cockey, whose house is 
still standing and now the home of William Tristram Stevens, took 
up, 1685, a large tract of land on Coxe's Creek. It is said that his first 
wife. Miss Ball, was the sister of Gen. George Washington's mother, 
but from this marriage there was no issue. He married, secondly the 
widow Harris {nee Ringgold), and from this union all the Cockeys of 
the Eastern Shore are descended. Their son, John Cockey, a captain 
in the British Army, who resigned his commission at the time of the 
American Revolution, married Miss Sudler. He built "Old Point" in 
1722, this date being set in one of the gables of this very oldest of 
the Kent Island colonial houses. This home is now owned by John 
Cockey, a direct descendant of Capt. Edward Cockey. Thus it will 
be seen that "Old Point" has been in this family for 230 years. 

Close to the "Old Point " property Matthew Read had surveyed 
for him "Batts' Neck," which property descended to Joseph Sudler 
and was left by him to his wife, in whose possession it was in 1742, 
as shown by the rent rolls of that year. 

[ 12^] 

Patented 1658 

OVERLOOKING the broadest part of Chester River through a 
grove of stately forest trees, well placed on a spacious lawn, 
is "Blakeford." This noted homestead of Queen Anne's is situated 
directly on Chester River and Queenstown Creek and is owned by 
W. H. DeCourcy Wright Thorn, of Baltimore and Queen Anne's 

The special interest of these old places on the Eastern Shore is 
their individualities and the manner of the first ownership of "Blake- 
ford " is of unusual note. Secretary of the Province Henry DeCourcy 
had proved staunch and loyal during certain disturbances in the 
Province and had also effected a certain treaty with the Susquehannah 
Indians of the Iroquois Confederacy. In recognition, Charles, third 
Lord Baltimore, gave to Henry DeCourcy as much land shown on a 
certain map as he could cover with his thumb. The extreme tip of 
the thumb covered that part of the present "Blakeford" which was 
called "Courcy's Neck," the rest of it covered "My Lord's Gift," 
stretching from the entrance of Queenstown harbor to the south. 
Retaining "My Lord's Gift, " Henry DeCourcy allowed his brother, 
William, to patent "Courcy's Neck." William retained it until he 

[ 1^3 ] 


sold it to the Blakes upon acquiring from his brother, John DeCourcy, 
his half of "Cheston-on-Wye," which they had taken up together. 

The Blake of that day had "Courcy's Neck" and two other tracts 
resurveyed under the name of ' 'Blake's Fort. ' ' That militant-sounding 
title came from the yet existing old earthworks fortification on the 
Chester River side of the southwesternmost extension of "Blakeford," 
as the name became through popular usage, because between it and 
"My Lord's Gift," just across the harbor entrance, there was at low 
tide an available ford. The old fort was used in Indian times, in 
Revolutionary days and during the War of 1812. 

During part of the War of the Revolution Judge Solomon Wright, 
(1717-1792), son of County Judge Solomon Wright and Mary 
DeCourcy, discharged from "Blakeford," so favorably near Queens- 
town, then the county-seat, his duties as "special Judge to try 
Treasons on the Eastern Shore." He was a member of the Conven- 
tions of Maryland ; a signer of the original Declaration of Freemen of 
Maryland, and a Judge of the Court of Appeals of Maryland from 
its creation in 1778 till he died in 1792. He left a very large landed 
estate. His son, Robert, fourteenth Governor of Maryland, (1806- 
i8oq), twice re-elected, was born November 20, 1752, and died at 
"Blakeford," September 7, 1826. He first practiced law in Chester- 
town and afterward in Queenstown. He was a private in Captain 
Kent's company of Minute Men. After serving in the Maryland 
Legislature he was elected United States Senator in 1 80 1 , and resigned 
in 1806, when elected Governor. He was a Representative in the 
Eleventh, Twelfth, Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Seventeenth Con- 
gresses. In 1823 he became Associate Judge of the Second District. 
His wife was a distant cousin, Sarah DeCourcy, of "Cheston-on-Wye." 

The next Wright to own "Blakeford" was his son, W. H. De- 
Courcy Wright, born at "Blakeford," September q, 1705; died in 
Baltimore, March 25, 1864. His earlier, and much of his later, life 
was spent at his dearly-loved "Blakeford." He was appointed United 
States Consul at Rio de Janeiro in 1825, and so served for many- 
successive years. His daughter, Clintonia Wright, widow of Captain 
William May, U.S. Navy, and afterward wife of Governor Philip 
Francis Thomas, succeeded him at "Blakeford." It is now in the 
keeping of his grandson, W. H. DeCourcy Wright Thom. 

[ 124] 

Built 1681-85 

Built 1775 

ON the peninsula which bears the name of Wright's Neck and 
washed by the confluent Reed's and Grove Creeks, tributaries 
of Chester River, are two delightfully situated homesteads of the 
Wright family — "Walnut Grove" and "Reed's Creek." These old 
houses are located on the land which was patented by Solomon 
Wright in 1685. That land had been originally taken up by his 
father-in-law, Thomas Hynson, but Solomon Wright had it resur- 
veyed in 1685 as "Worplesdon." 

Solomon Wright was born in England in 1655 and died in Mary- 
land in 1 7 1 7. He married Anne Hynson. Records show that when he 
died he was possessed of 2,000 acres of land and had been one of the 
leading men of his county and Province, having served as a Justice 
of the County Court in 1707 and 1708, as vestryman and warden of 
St. Paul's Parish in i6q8, and as a member of the Assembly at Annap- 
olis from Kent and Queen Anne's Counties from 1708 to 17 15. 

"The Walnut Grove" house is undoubtedly the oldest house in the 
county, it having been built between 1681 and 1685. While it is very 



quaint and odd on the outside the interior is beautifully finished. This 
building with its farm descended to Solomon Wright's eldest son, 
Thomas Hynson Wright, (1688- 1747), and came down through suc- 
cessive generations of his Wright descendants to the late Thomas 
Wright, by whose widow, now Mrs. William McKenney, Sr., it is held. 
The "Reed's Creek" house, which is situated near the end of the 
Wright's Neck peninsula, and from which there is an extended view 
over Reed's Creek and Chester River, was built by Col. Thomas 
Wright about 1775. The disturbances of the time seriously affected 
the fortunes of Col. Thomas Wright. In addition to being commandant 
of a military regiment of Queen Anne's County in 1776 he held the 
following offices: Delegate to the Provincial Conventions of 1774- 
76: member of the Committee of Correspondence, 1774, and a 
signer of the Association of the Freemen of Maryland of 1775. At 
the death of Colonel Wright his son and namesake inherited the 
property and lived there until his death in 1835. He was succeeded 
as master of "Reed's Creek" by his sixth child and fourth son, 
Richard Alexander Wright. At the present time "Reed's Creek" is 
owned by Mr. and Mrs. Clayton Wright, of Centerville, who are 
representatives of its first owners in Maryland history and in whose 
hands a revival of its old-time family characteristics may be expected. 



Patented 1665 

A BEAUTIFUL tributary of the Chesapeake Bay which attracted 
many of the early settlers is the Wye River. After passing 
Bennett's Point, upon entering "The Wye," and the long and his- 
torical peninsula of the Bennett estate, this river separates and forms 
a "Y." The south prong, known as "Front Wye," and the north 
prong, known as "Back Wye," bound the north and south sides of 
Bordley's or Paca's Island. On the north prong are some noted 
estates, among which are "Wye," "Wye Island" and "Cheston-on- 
Wye." At the head of the northeast branch of "Back Wye" is sit- 
uated one of the finest brick colonial residences in Queen Anne's 
County, "Bloomingdale." This property was orginally patented by 
Capt. Robert Morris under the name of "Mount Mill" by letters 
patent issued on June 7, 1665. 

In 1684 the tract was acquired by Jacob Seth, who added to the 
property by purchase, making it two miles square. Jacob Seth occu- 
pied the property until his death in i6q8, and by his will devised 
it to his son, John, with a provision that if John died without descen- 



dants it should go to his son, Charles. John died before reaching 
maturity and the property was occupied by Charles until his death in 
1737- Jacob Seth married, in 1676, Barbara Beckwith, a daughter of 
Capt. George Beckwith and Frances Harvey. They resided on a 
tract of land on the Patuxent River in St. Mary's County which had 
been granted to Nicholas Harvey, the father of Frances Beckwith. 
Nicholas Harvey came into the Province with Leonard Calvert in 
1634. Charles Seth by will devised the property to his sons, John, 
James, Charles and Jacob. Jacob, by subsequent purchases, became 
the owner of the whole tract, and at his death it went to his oldest 
son and heir-at-law, Thomas Johnings Seth, who died about 1820 
without descendants, and the property was sold by a trustee in chan- 
cery to Edward Harris, whose heirs, Mary and Sallie Harris, became 
the owners of this estate at his death and rechristened it "Blooming- 
dale." Sallie, the surviving sister, willed it to her cousin, Severn 
Teackle Wallis, and he to his nephew, who sold it to Hiram G. Dudley 
of Baltimore City, the present owner. 

There are several very old buildings on the property of brick 
construction, notably the miller's house. The present residence was 
reconstructed in 1 792, during the ownership of Thomas Johnings Seth. 
The mill on the property during the ownership of the Seths was known 
as "Seth's Mill," and later, after the estate passed from the hands of 
the Seth family, it has been known as the "Sallie Harris Mill." 

Paca's Island was the home of Governor William Paca, a native 
of Harford, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, 
and an eminent Maryland jurist, who died at ''Wye Hall" in 1799. 
The two Governors of Maryland elected from Queen Anne's were 
Robert Wright, (12 November, 1806-6 May, i8oq); and William 
Grason, (7 January, 1839-3 January, 1842), the latter being the 
first Maryland Chief Executive chosen by popular vote under the 
amended Constitution of 1838, in succession to Veazey. James 
Butcher, (6 May, i8oq-q June, 1809), is the third Queen Anne's 
countian in the list of Governors. 


Now Queen Anne's County Almshouse 

SITUATED about ten miles from Centerville, the county-seat of 
Queen Anne's County, and just beyond the village of Ruthsburg, 
is the "Old Pratt Mansion," now occupied as a county almshouse. 
The first colonist who owned the ground upon which this house stands 
was Christopher Cross Routh, who accumulated much personalty 
and a wide extent of landed property in his lifetime. In his will, dated 
February 17, 1775, which was made one year before his death, he 
named Henry Pratt, his son-in-law, the beneficiary of his estate. 

Henry Pratt and his son, also Henry Pratt, added many acres 
to the Routh holdings; it was said that they could drive seven miles 
in the direction of Centerville without getting off their own land. 
The Pratts were very patriotic during the Revolution, and they con- 
tributed largely of their means to further the interest of the Continen- 
tal Army. They also fitted out ships to trade with France during the 
War of 181 2. 

This house was built prior to the issuing of the Declaration of 
Independence. Over the front door are seen today thirteen stars, but 

f. 1^9] 


It is not known just when these stars were placed there. The house, 
from oral tradition, was some time in course of construction, but when 
it was completed a celebration was held which lasted three days and 
three nights. The guests came from Kent, Caroline, Talbot and Queen 
Anne's, and were entertained in the mansion house and by neighbor- 
ing planters. Fox hunting, horse racing, dancing, feasting, and the 
whole round of rural pleasures were extended their guests by the 
Pratts. Coach driving with wild colts, as well as high-bred horses 
trained to harness, was a popular sport in those days, and was espe- 
cially enjoyed by Henry Pratt. 

The mansion house was exquisitely furnished. Mahogany, cut 
glass and silver were brought from England and much of it is now 
in existence in the county and can be traced as once gracing the "Old 
Pratt Mansion." Henry Pratt died in 1783, and his son, who suc- 
ceeded to the property, lived until about i8oq. The third Henry Pratt 
who owned the estate was a lavish spender and seemed to have missed 
inheriting his ancestors' ability to acquire and hold property. About 
1832 the place passed from his hands and was purchased by the 
county, and has been used since as the county almshouse. 

There had been erected in this house what is called a "sounding 
post" — a contrivance with a vacuum arrangement which carried the 
sound of a whisper made in the hall below to the bedroom of the 
owner. Before the last Henry Pratt vacated the property he declared 
that nobody else should have the advantage of this contrivance, so he 
pulled out his pistol and shot a bullet through the post and the bullet- 
hole can be seen in what remains of the post at the present time. 

Ellen Pratt, daughter of the last owner, was born and married to 
Madison Brown in this house. She was the mother of Congressman 
John B. Brown, Judge Edwin H. Brown, Rev. Joel Brown and Mrs. 
James Bordley, wife of the late Dr. James Bordley, of Centerville. 

Descendants of the original board of trustees of this county insti- 
tution of Queen Anne's have served on the board, and the present 
trustees are James Brown, president; W. H. Gibson, vice-president; 
William McKenney, secretary and treasurer; C. P. Merrick, James T. 
Bright, Frank A. Emory, R. B. Carmichael, J. Frank Harper, Samuel 
A. Wallen and James E. Kirwan. Edwin H. Brown, Jr., is counsel, 
and William Jester, superintendent. 




POPLAR GROVE," the homestead of the Emory family for the 
past five generations, is located in Spaniard's Neck, Queen Anne's 
County, on the northern side of Corsica River and Emory's Creek. 
The estate originally contained about i,ooo acres. Its northerly 
boundary was "Readbourne," the old Hollyday estate on Chester 
River. Just what year the "Poplar Grove" house was built is not 
known, but it must have been early in the eighteenth century. 

There seems to have been three distinct branches of the Emory 
family in Queen Anne's County. The "Poplar Grove" or Spaniard's 
Neck branch; the Queenstown branch, and the East of Centerville 
branch. Each branch of this family has turned out prominent men. 
Of the East of Centerville branch came Judge D. C. Hopper Emory of 
Lutherville, Baltimore County, Arthur Emory, J. K. B. Emory, and 
W. H. Emory, commission merchants, Baltimore City, Arthur Emory 
was born at "The Hut," a farm near Centerville. The Queenstown 
Emorys owned and lived on the farm now owned by the heirs of Dr. 
Thomas Willson, which is situated adjacent to and is said to have 
included the "Hemsley Farm," owned by Hiram G. Dudley. 

The remains of William James Emory rest in the old Emory 



burying ground. Daniel Grant Emory, Dr. Richard Emory and the 
late Dr. Thomas Hall Emory of Harford County were descendants 
of this branch. 

Many men of distinction came from the "Poplar Grove" branch 
of Emory s: Gen. Thomas Emory, an officer in the War of 1812, Col. 
John R. Emory, who served in the Florida Indian War under Gen. Joe 
Johnston; Frank Emory, of "Conquest" ; Addison Emory, of "Ruth's 
Hollow"; Edward Bourke Emory, of "Poplar Grove"; John Emory, 
of "Ashland," and John Register Emory, of Washington. 

Another estate associated with the Emory family and one of the 
most attractive old places in Queen Anne's is "Bloomfield," which is 
situated on the State Road between Centerville and Church Hill. 
The "Bloomfield" house was built by William Young Bourke not 
later than 1760. This Bourke married Eliza Anne Gray, and their 
daughter Anne married Richard Harrison but died without issue and 
the estate was inherited by Mary Bourke, who married Blanchard 
Emory, of "Poplar Grove," in 1852. Mrs. Emory, who raised a large 
family of children, was an authoress, and wrote "Colonial Families 
and Their Descendants." In 1893 the old estate was sold to Richard 
Earle Davidson, of Queenstown. "Bloomfield" is now the property of 
John H. Evans, a prominent citizen of Queen Anne's County. 

[ 132] 

Antedating Revolution 

THIS homestead is located two and a half miles from Centerville, 
the county-seat of Queen Anne's County, on Tilghman's Creek, 
overlooking the Chester and the Corsica rivers. 

"Melfield" originally belonged to Judge James Tilghman of "The 
Hermitage." The house which stands today, shown in the picture, 
was begun prior to the Revolutionary War. Its architectural appear- 
ance supports a tradition that only one section was completed when 
the disturbed conditions in the province stopped the work. The first 
part erected was evidently intended for a library, and is of English 
brick. The walls are several feet in thickness and the doors have 
large brass locks bearing the British coat-of-arms. 

"Melfield" became the property of the Earles through the wife 
of Judge Richard Tilghman Earle, Mary Tilghman, a daughter of 
Judge James Tilghman. This estate originally contained over i,ioo 
acres and included "Headlong Hall," a Tilghman farm of 365 acres, 
now owned by Mr. Clapp, of New York. This old home was one of 
a chain of places owned by Judge Earle. His summer home was 

[ 133 ] 


"Winton," which is situated directly on Chester River at the mouth 
of the Corsica River and has been in the Earle family for more than a 
century. By a deed recorded in the Land Records of Talbot County, 
dated July 21, 1666, Edward Lloyd, of "Wye House," conveyed 
"Winton" to his son-in-law, Henry Hawkins. In i66q Henry Hawkins 
sold "Winton" to Nathaniel Evitt for 6,000 pounds of tobacco. Three 
years later Evitt sold "Winton" to Richard Tilghman, then high 
sheriff of the county, and it remained in the Tilghman family until 
the death of Judge James Tilghman and became the portion of his 
daughter Mary, who married Judge Richard Tilghman Earle. Rich- 
ard Tilghman Earle, a grandson of Judge Earle, died in 1914, and 
"Winton" was sold the following year and was purchased by Stuart 
Olivier and Charles Morris Howard, of Baltimore City, Milton Camp- 
bell, of "The Anchorage," Talbot, and Swepson Earle, of Queen 
Anne's. The "Winton" house was modeled after the "White House" 
and was destroyed by fire a decade ago. 

"Needwood," another place owned by Judge Earle, is situated 
about a mile from Centerville and was his winter home. After his 
death it became the home of James Tilghman Earle, who represented 
Queen Anne's in the Maryland Senate at the sessions of 1865-74. 
After Mr. Earle's death "Needwood" was purchased by the late 
William McKenny, of Queen Anne's County. 

In 18 1 2, when the British were reported coming up Chester River, 
Peregrine Tilghman moved his family from "Recovery," now owned 
by Thomas J. Keating, to "Melfield" for safety. He joined the 
Queenstown Company and was in the engagement at "Slippery 
Hill." Capt. James Tilghman was born while his mother, Harriett 
Tilghman, was at "Melfield." 

Samuel Thomas Earle lived sixty-eight years at "Melfield," the 
place having been given him by his father. Judge Earle, when he was 
a young man. Until his death in 1904 he resided on the estate, where 
he raised a large family of children. His surviving children were Mrs. 
Mary Feddeman, Mrs. E. M. Forman and William Brundige Earle, 
of Queen Anne's County, and Dr. Samuel T. Earle, of Baltimore 
City. "Melfield" was then divided into two farms; the home place is 
owned by the widow of William B. Earle, Louisa Stubbs Earle, and 
the outer part, which is called "Chatfield," by Dr. Samuel T. Earle. 

[ 134] 



IT was not until 250 years after Columbus' fruitful voyage of 1492 
that the struggling, though ever-increasing, population which at 
first clung to the watercourses and bays of the lower Eastern Shore 
in this territory had become sufficiently numerous and influential to 
demand and receive consideration from the Provincial Assembly. 
During the reign of George II, in the year 1742, when nearly all of 
Europe was then, as now, at war, we find that the Provincial Assembly, 
in acknowledged deference to the petition of certain inhabitants of 
our parent county, Somerset, serenely set aside of its woods, rivers, 
swamps, small lots of cleared land and ocean shore a new county and 
called it Worcester. 

The boundaries of the present Worcester County were definitely 
fixed by the Act of 1742, and so remained, save for the boundary 
adjustment many years later with Virginia, until the Constitution 
framed by the Convention of 1867 took away the northern portion 
of Somerset and the western portion of Worcester to form Wicomico. 
After that diminution Worcester County remains with an area of 
475 square miles. It extends from Mason and Dixon's Line, forming 
the southern boundary of Delaware, south to the State of Virginia, 
and fronts and bounds on the east upon the Atlantic Ocean, a distance 
of nearly fifty miles. The true location of the boundaries between 
Worcester County, Maryland, and Accomac County, Virginia, was 
for two centuries unsettled. The dispute between the States of Mary- 
land and Virginia as to the interstate boundary was finally submitted 
to arbitration and determined in 1877 by Jeremiah S. Black, of 
Pennsylvania, and Charles J. Jenkins, of Georgia, arbitrators selected 
by the two States. 

Probably the earliest settlements in what is now Worcester County 
were about 1658, and were made by pioneers from Accomac and also 
direct from England. These emigrants were later followed by fugitive 



Acadians, (1755). The waterways naturally furnished the only con- 
venient means of transportation in early times. The labor of clearing 
away dense woods preliminary to any farming, the fight against 
malaria, absence of markets, churches and schools retarded the early 
growth of the county. In 1 790 the population was only 1 1 ,640, includ- 
ing nearly 4,000 negro slaves. During the next twenty-five years, to 
181 5, the population rose to i6,q7i. 

In addition to Pocomoke City, Snow Hill, Berlin, Stockton, and 
Ocean City, which is the only town in Maryland built at the ocean's 
side, several other towns were in times past "erected" in Worcester 
County by legislative act, and of them no traces remain, if any such 
towns had in fact physical existence. Notable among these are 
"Newport, " erected in 1744, two years after Snow Hill was incorpo- 
rated, and "Baltimore Town." It is interesting to note that the 
March, 1666, term of Somerset Court ordered that the "Great Bridge" 
at Snow Hill be repaired. Snow Hill, the present county-seat, was 
then a village near which a band of friendly Indians, numbering about 
120, lingered until 1756, refused inducements to leave, and what 
finally became of them is unknown. It was not until many years 
after the "Great Bridge" was repaired that the town of Snow Hill 
was incorporated. 

"Newtown," now Pocomoke City, was then unknown. Col. Wil- 
liam Stevens established a ferry about 1670 across the Pocomoke 
River where the bridge at Pocomoke City now is, and called the place 
"Stevens' Ferry." A warehouse for tobacco, then a legal tender in 
Maryland and other colonies, built of cypress logs, was established 
on "the hill," a short distance below "Stevens' Ferry," about the 
year 1700, and from that the hamlet below the ferry took its name 
of "Warehouse Landing." Later, as "Newtown," the village flour- 
ished until it soon outgrew Wagram, just across the Virginia line. 
"Newtown" also outgrew Rehoboth in Somerset County, eight miles 
down the Pocomoke River, a port of entry and a place of comparative 
importance when Baltimore City was young. 

Rehoboth boasts the oldest Presbyterian church building in exis- 
tence in America, and one of the oldest Episcopal churches. The year 
1683 is notable, not alone to Worcester County but to the nation, 
because it was in that year that the first Presbyterian preacher 



reached the colonies. The young missionary from Ireland, Francis 
Makemie, began that year his ministerial work at Snow Hill and in 
Somerset County. He established at Snow Hill, about i6qo, what is 
generally believed to be the first Presbyterian church erected in 
America, and at about the same time a second church at Rehoboth. 
Soon he organized a third church, "Old Manokin," at Princess Anne. 
After an active and useful career, by no means free from difficulty, 
hardship and persecution, Makemie died, and was buried on the farm 
of his daughter, Anne Holden, on Holden's Creek, Accomac County, 
Virginia. For many years the place of his burial was unknown, his 
grave unmarked, but finally after persistent and careful examination 
of records, documents, etc., and the most painstaking, energetic effort, 
his burial place was accurately located. Thereupon a suitable monu- 
ment was erected some eight or ten years ago to mark his grave, paid 
for by subscriptions given by the Presbyterians of the United States, 
who showed this long postponed and much deserved respect to the 
memory of their first minister. 

One small, and otherwise comparatively unimportant, incident 
is of value, because it throws a vivid light on the relative size 
of the struggling settlements, and the bonds of friendship which 
united them. After the great Boston fire in 1760, Worcester County 
contributed, (as did all the other counties of the Province of Mary- 
land), to the stricken New England city, her gift being £73 4s. 6d. 
Quite a generous contribution it was, when the resources of Worcester 
County in 1760 are considered. Great events were soon to follow this 
donation, significant as an expression of sympathy. Fourteen years 
afterward we find that the sum of £533 was raised in Worcester 
County to aid Massachusetts in her opposition to taxation by the 
British Parliament without representation. After the Revolutionary 
War actually began a great mass meeting was held on June 7, 1775, 
at Snow Hill and a set of resolutions adopted in which, among other 
things, it was pledged "That we will from time to time, as often as it 
shall be found necessary, contribute cheerfully for the support and 
relief of our brethren in Massachusetts, now actually experiencing 
the fullest extent of ministerial vengeance and tyranny, and groaning 
under the horrors of war in the defense of their and our common 



On July 26, 1775, about sixty of the foremost citizens of the 
county, (men whose names are still familiar, being perpetuated by 
many descendants now living in Worcester), met at Snow Hill and 
signed the Association of the Freemen of Maryland. Maryland, how- 
ever, and particularly Worcester County, was by no means unanimous 
in favor of the war, and there were many "Tories' ' in Worcester loyal 
to the British Crown. So that the men who so boldly wrote their 
names on the roll of the Association of Freemen undoubtedly wrote 
their own death warrants had the colonies lost. The presence and 
pernicious activity of so many ''Tories" in Worcester and Somerset 
Counties was a source of grim satisfaction to Governor Eden. He 
wrote, with some elation, that in February, 1777, General Smallwood, 
with 500 men and a company of artillery, had been sent to the lower 
peninsula to reduce the "Tories " to obedience. When Smallwood 
arrived the trouble was over. Nevertheless, many of the trouble- 
makers were arrested by him and hustled to Annapolis for trial, where 
it is unlikely that any too great deference or tenderness was shown 

The Sinepuxent Battalion, with about 318 men, Capts. Matthew 
Purnell, William Purnell, E. Purnell, Thomas Purnell and Dale; the 
Snow Hill Battalion, with about 578 men, Capts. Spence, Stewart, 
Layfield, Handy, Walton, Patterson, Smyley, Parramore and William 
Richardson, were volunteers in the cause of independence organized 
in the county, and comprised about 13 per cent of the total white 
population. In addition many men enlisted from Worcester County 
in commands elsewhere. Col. Peter Chaille commanded the Tenth 
Battalion and Col. William Purnell the Twenty-fourth Battalion of 
the Maryland Militia authorized by the Convention of 1 775. Worces- 
ter sent Samuel Handy, Peter Chaille, Smith Bishop and Josiah 
Mitchell, who was for many years county surveyor, as members of 
the Provincial Convention which framed the first Constitution for 
the State of Maryland, and held its sessions at Annapolis between 
August 14 and November 11, 1776. And as delegates to the State 
Convention of 1788, which ratified the Constitution of the United 
States, Worcester sent John Done, Peter Chaille, William Morris and 
James Martin. 

Worcester County has much fast land and semi-waste land in the 



long stretches of swamp which for many miles border the dark, deep 
reaches of the tortuous Pocomoke River and its tributaries, and make 
the river, with its coffee-colored waters, one of the loveliest streams 
in America. Again, the narrow sand spit that pens the waters of the 
shallow bay extending from Virginia to Delaware along the east coast 
of the county, and that in some miraculous way has sustained for 
years and still sustains the pounding of the ocean breakers on one 
side and the wash from the waters of the bay on the other, and that 
keeps the ocean and the bay apart, is barren. Worcester has valuable 
resources in its salt-water fisheries in the sheltered bay to the east 
known at various parts of its length as Isle of Wight, Sinepuxent and 

The county has all varieties of soils. Soils that will produce more 
wheat per acre than the best lands of the West, and also phenomenal 
yields of corn and vegetables, sometimes lie within gunshot of sandy 
"pine barrens" that scarcely repay the cost of clearing. Diversified 
farming, the raising of truck and fruits, improved methods of market- 
ing and transportation, and good roads have wrought an agricul- 
tural miracle of recent years in the county. 

Worcester has been well and honestly governed, and the people 
of the county have enjoyed, among the first in Maryland, the best 
fruits of a liberal free school system. Peace, security of personal and 
property rights, good order, sufficient for all the necessaries of life 
and many, (though not too many), of its luxuries have almost without 
intermission blessed the people and been the county's portion. If 
the words of Voltaire be true, that "history is little else than a picture 
of human crimes and misfortunes," then Worcester is happily without 
a history. 

[ I3Q 

Patented i66q 

BEVERLY," the old colonial homestead of the Dennis family, is 
situated on the east bank of the Pocomoke River, about eight 
miles from its mouth, in Worcester County, on a tract of land 
patented in i66q under the name, of "Thrum-Capped" to Donnoch 
Dennis, who was the first settler of the name in Maryland. 

Donnoch Dennis lived on Dividing Creek in Somerset County, on 
"Dennis First and Second Purchases," and his son John inherited the 
"Beverly" or "Thrum-Capped" tract and lived there. He built the 
first dwelling house on the tract, which was of brick. 

The present house stood on a tract which, until recently subdi- 
vided, consisted of 1,700 acres. The present house was commenced 
in 1774 by Littleton Dennis, a lawyer; and he, dying in the same 
year, it was completed by his widow, Susanna (Upshur) Dennis, both 
of whom, with many others of their family, are buried in the family 
burying ground near the house. 

The house is of the large, old English style of brick and faces 
east. The porch to the side facing the Pocomoke River is of wrought 

[ 140] 


iron, fashioned by hand, and the circle in the arch was formerly the 
receptacle for a large iron lamp, which served as a beacon light for 
miles up and down the Pocomoke River, which in the absence of good 
roads, furnished then the only easy means of communication. 

The first floor rooms are all wainscoted, in whole or in part, with 
panels beautifully designed, and all hand work, and in each room, 
where was originally a fireplace, there are on each side of the latter 
closets in the wall, presumably to hold firewood. 

The walls are very thick, allowing room for deep window seats, 
and the framing and timbers, which are still perfectly solid, were 
hewed out. The boards used in construction were sawed out from 
the log by hand. 

The property has never been out of the Dennis family, but has 
passed down through successive generations by will or inheritance 
from the original patentee. 





ALTHOUGH not built in colonial days, the Timmons House in 
Snow Hill, recently torn down, was for a century an architec- 
tural landmark of Snow Hill. The original part was built of hewn 
logs by Timothy Irons, and its first site was at the southerly end of 
Market Street. Purchased a quarter of a century later from Irons by 
Dr. Thomas Spence, it was moved to a new site, an addition built on 
and the colonial type of porches constructed. Dr. Spence at that 
time owned nearly all the land from Washington Street to Purnell's 
Mill Pond, on the Berlin road. He sold the house to Sheriff Samuel 
Harper, and later owners were Edward Bowen and John F. Purnell. 
About i860 it became the home of Capt. William E. Timmons, then 
a political leader in Worcester, who occupied it until his death a few 
years ago. 

The demolition of this notable structure of Snow Hill, in the inter- 
ests of modern progress, caused a sentimental pang to the residents 
and descendants of former residents who revered the building for its 
long and intimate connection with local and family history. 


Built 1755 

FROM the builder of this house, Robert Morris, Register of Wills 
of Worcester County, who erected it in 1755, its ownership passed 
to Judge William Whittington, the maternal grandfather of United 
States Senator John Walter Smith. Judge Whittington died in 
1827, and was buried on the "Ingleside" place. The property was 
later occupied by his son-in-law. Judge William Tingle, for some years 
in the middle period of the last century. The ballroom of the mansion 
is now used as a kitchen, the original kitchen having been a semi- 
detached building. "Ingleside" is owned by Mrs. Eugene Riggin, of 
Los Angeles, California. 

Judge Whittington succeeded John Done, of Somerset, as Chief 
Justice of the Fourth District of Maryland in 1799, Judge Done, 
appointed under the Judiciary Act of 17Q0, having been promoted to 
the General Court. The Fourth District, (there being five in the State) , 
included Caroline, Dorchester, Somerset and Worcester Counties — all 
the Eastern Shore south of the Choptank. Judge Whittington served 
a little less than two years, when his tenure was ended by the Act of 



1 80 1, which likewise divided the Eastern Shore into two districts, 
Cecil, Kent, Queen Anne's and Talbot being the Second. 

William Polk, of Somerset, was appointed in Judge Whittington's 
stead, for party reasons. By Luther Martin, Whittington sued Polk 
at the only assize of novel disseisin known to the Maryland law 
reports for "having disseised him of his freehold, with its appurte- 
nances," in the office of Chief Justice of the County Courts of the 
Fourth District, and the General Court, upon a jury's special verdict, 
found that when Whittington qualified "a right vested in him to hold 
office until his death or conviction in a court of law of misbehavior" ; 
and that the repealing Act of 1801 in depriving him of his office was 
"an infraction of his right and does not accord with sound legislation." 
However, the General Court held that the Act was not repugnant to 
the State Constitution, and was within the power of the Legislature; 
and nonsuited Whittington because the writ of assize of novel dis- 
seisin, (a Clarendon statute of Henry II), the use of which in Eliza- 
bethan England in a certain action for the recovery of land had 
been set up as a precedent by Martin and Robert Goodloe Harper, 
had never been extended to Maryland, and could not be availed of in 
the case at bar. Polk's counsel were Thomas James Bullitt, Gustavus 
Scott and Josiah Bayley. 

The Chief Justices of the County Courts at first sat with two 
lay associates in each county, but under a further reorganization of 
the county courts by the Act of 1804, Polk, Done and James B. 
Robins, of Worcester, became the Fourth District bench. Judge 
Whittington returned to it as an Associate Justice in 18 12, again 
succeeding Done, promoted to Chief Justice on the death of Polk. 

Judge Whittington, noted among the early judges of Maryland 
for his mental attainments and judicial character, continued on the 
bench until his death, in 1827, when his place was taken by his son- 
in-law. Judge Tingle. A quarter of a century later all the appointive 
judges were legislated out of office by the Constitution of 185 1, which 
changed the circuits and made judgeships elective. Judge Tingle 
returned to the practice of law at Snow Hill, and died in 1864. 

[ 144] 

First Church Built 1734 

IN following the instructions given to the freeholders of what was 
then Somerset County in the Act of Assembly of 1692, Chapter 2, 
entitled "An Act for the Service of Almighty God and the Establish- 
ment of the Protestant Religion within this Province," Mathew 
Scarborough, William Round, John Francklin, Thomas Painter, 
Thomas Selby, and Edward Hammond were selected to serve as 
vestrymen of Snow Hill Parish until the Monday after Easter of the 
following year. 

The Justices of the County Court, with the "principal free- 
holders" of the county, had, previous to the selection of the vestrymen, 
divided Somerset County into four parishes. The instructions regard- 
ing the laying out and dividing the several counties under this act 
includes the following; "And the same districts and Parishes the said 
Justices shall cause to be laid out by meets and bounds and fair 
certificates of each parish, with the most evident and demonstrable 
Bounds of the same, returned to the next County Court to be held 
for the said County which the Justices at their County Courts as 



aforesaid shall cause the Clerk of the said County to enter the said 
certificate upon the Record and draw a fair copy thereof, affixing his 
name and the Seal of the said County thereunto, and transmit the 
same with all convenient speed to the Governor and Council of this 
Province to be kept on record in the Council Books." 

It was found that of the four parishes laid out in Somerset County, 
the most easterly one. Snow Hill, was co-extensive with two sub- 
divisions of the county, namely, Bogettenorten and Mattapany 
Hundreds, lying east of the Pocomoke River and bordering upon the 
Atlantic Ocean. 

The first minister who preached in the parish according to the 
Allen MSS. was Rev. John White, in i6q8. In 1703 Rev. Robert 
Keith preached there, and in 1708 Rev. Alexander Adams was in 
charge. It was during his pastorate that the name was changed, in 
1 7 10, to All Hallows. Rev. Charles Wilkinson began to preach in 
the parish in 1 7 1 1 , but owing to the unsettled conditions no minister 
afterward preached in the parish until 1728, when Rev. Thomas 
Fletcher began his thirteen years of faithful service as rector. Rev. 
Patrick Glasgow followed, serving eleven years, and during his pasto- 
rate, in 1742, All Hallows found itself in Worcester County — the 
county at its erection being co-extensive with the bounds of old 
"Snow Hill Parish." The first church was built in 1734, during Rev. 
Mr. Fletcher's time. In 1754, Rev. John Rosse began his pastoral 
duties, which continued until the last part of 1775. On January 28, 
1776, Rev. Edward Gantt began to preach there. 




THROUGH the influence 
of the Spence family in 
1828 the Maryland Iron 
Company was formed, and 
acquired about 5,000 acres 
of land, along Nassawango 
Creek, which included a 
large deposit of bog ore, 
rich in iron, that curiously 
enough lined the bed of the 
creek in considerable quan- 
tity. It represented the de- 
posit of mineral substance 
left by springs that had 
oozed from the depths of 
the earth through the bog 
and cypress roots for untold 
ages to feed Nassawango 
Creek. The company was 
formed to mine and reduce 
this ore. The adjacent pine forests furnished charcoal to be used in 
the process. A large furnace was constructed and many houses for 
employees were built on a site about five miles from Snow Hill. 
Much money and many high hopes were lost after about seven years 
unprofitable operation. The stack of the "Old Furnace" is all that 
now remains of the mills, and around about it and its environs is 
woven the story of that remarkable novel, "The Entailed Hat," 
written by the late George Alfred Townsend, himself a native of 
Worcester County. 


Built 1756 

FOR nearly seventy years St. Martin's Church, near the village of 
Showell in Worcester County, was the parish church of Worcester 
Parish. The parish was erected from part of Snow Hill, now All 
Hallows Parish, in 1744. The present brick building was erected in 
1756 on the site of its less pretentious predecessor under the patron- 
age, it is said, of a Queen of England, who presented the parish with 
a silver service. Part of this silver is now used in St. Paul's Episcopal 
Church at Berlin and the rest of it in the Episcopal church at Mills- 
boro, Delaware, which town lies a few miles to the north of St. Martin's. 

The vestry of the parish built Prince George's Chapel at Selbyville 
in the early days, and when the Maryland-Delaware boundary line 
was run by Mason and Dixon in 1763 and relocated to include that 
part of Worcester County south of the Indian River it divided Wor- 
cester Parish, placing Prince George's Parish in Delaware. It was at 
that time that the silver service of St. Martin's was divided. 

The vestries in those days, when state and church were united 
and, under the Proprietary government of the Cal verts subject to the 



Crown of England, had magisterial authority and laid a tax on the 
settlers for the maintenance of the Church of England in Maryland. 
The tax was paid in tobacco. 

Five acres of land were laid out for a cemetery around St. Martin's 
and many of the ancestors of the present generation are buried there. 
The cemetery is now covered by a jungle of bushes and briers. There 
is much valuable history in the records of the parish associated with 
this old church and its congregation. The names of the first pew- 
holders are still found in the records, together with much interesting 
historical information of the families and "doings ' of olden times. 

Following the English custom, several of the early rectors were 
buried under the chancel of the church. This has given rise to the 
legends of ghosts being seen about the old edifice. But the brave 
pioneers of that part of the Eastern Shore sleep too soundly to play 

Old Worcester Parish included the upper part of Worcester County 
and within its bounds are Ocean City, Bishopville, Berlin, Liberty- 
town, Whaleyville and Friendship. 


■■■^■^■i ^ 



^^^^Jh-' ^m 



Built 1830 

IN the town of Berlin within a mile of the birthplace of Commodore 
Stephen Decatur is "Burley Cottage," which was built by Capt. 
John Selby Purnell about 1830. This place probably takes its name 
from "Burley," granted to Colonel Stevens in 1677, together with 
many tracts in this section of the Peninsula. From the descrip- 
tion, it is likely that the present town of Berlin covers a part of 
this grant. 

In "The Days of Makemie," an interesting account is given of a 
visit in 1684 to inspect these estates: "'Sailing on up the eastern 
fork of the bay next morning and passing along the tract of land 
called 'Goshen,' patented by Mr. Makemie's friend. Colonel Jenkins, 
we see a little town of the aborigines, their canoes strewing the banks. 
A larger cabin indicates the Palace of Majesty, and, steering our 
course nearer, we see Queen Weocomoconus sitting in State at the 
door and her son, Kunsonum, at her side with the plumes of the 
seagull in his hair." After trading with the Indians, with whom they 
seemed to be on friendly terms, one "Wasposson" acted as guide dur- 



ing the balance of the expedition. Continuing, the writer says: "Mr. 
Ambrose White had joined us, coming from his estate called 'Happy 
Entrance/ north of St. Martin's River. Together we went on to 
'Kelsey Hill' — another of Mr. Steven's tracts — thence on a mile 
farther to his land called 'Burley,' of three hundred acres, granted 
him in 1677. 'Coyes' Folly,' belonging to Mr. Wale, lies to the 
north, and 'Mount Pleasant' between the two. On the 'Burley' 
tract a gentle, quiet hill, covered with venerable oaks and gemmed 
with wild flowers, offered a quiet resting place for our midday repast." 
"Burley Cottage" is a most attractive home, and is conspicuous 
for the luxurious growth of English ivy that covers the brick walls 
and which can only be kept in bounds by constant trimming. Back 
of the house there was originally a garden with formal box hedges 
which have grown to a most unusual size. Captain Purnell was the 
owner of much landed property in Worcester County. He was a 
highly educated man, with cultured tastes and most distinguished 
manners. He married Margaret Campbell Henry, daughter of Francis 
Jenkins Henry, who was a brother of John Henry, of Dorchester 
County, who was successively member of the Continental Congress, 
United States Senator and finally Governor of Maryland, 1797-1798. 
In addition to the large landed estate inherited by Captain Purnell 
his wife brought him "Buckland. " This was a large tract of land on 
the St. Martin's River, and at that time had a fine house and hand- 
some garden running down to the river. This is the same tract that 
was devised by John Henry to his son John upon his death in 171 7. 
It was here that Captain Purnell passed his early married life, moving 
to "Burley Cottage " upon its completion, where he lived the re- 
mainder of his days. Upon his death the various large estates passed 
to his sons — "Buckland" to the heirs of his son, John Henry, "Wallops 
Neck" to his son, Francis Jenkins, and "Simperton" to his son, James 
Robins; "Burley Cottage" being devised with other property to his 
daughter, Nancy Purnell. Upon her death and the division of her 
estate it was sold and is now owned by Henry Purnell, grandson of 
the builder. The various large tracts inherited by his sons have now 
been sub-divided or broken up by the process of time except "Wallops 
Neck" which is still held as devised to Francis Jenkins Purnell, by his 


Near Berlin 

AMONG the historical houses of Worcester is the unpretentious 
L birthplace of one of Maryland's most distinguished sons, Stephen 
Decatur. Here on the 5th of January, i/zq, was born that hero of 
the early American Navy. The old house is in the neighborhood of 
Berlin, a thriving town of northern Worcester County. For over a 
century it has withstood the east winds that have swept in from the 
Atlantic, over whose restless bosom Decatur sailed and fought his 
way to everlasting fame. 

Decatur's grandfather was born in France and went to Rhode 
Island, married and established his home at Newport, where Decatur's 
father, Stephen Decatur, the elder, was born in 175 1 . In Philadelphia 
this Stephen met a Miss Pine, the daughter of an Irishman, whom 
he married and they made their home there. In writing of Decatur, 
John W. Staton, of Snow Hill, says: 

"His nature combined the characteristics of the French and Irish 
and they were manifested in his fascinating personality and gallant 
bravery in after life. It was in the late spring of 1778 that Stephen 
Decatur, senior, brought his young wife from Philadelphia to Worces- 



ter County and took this unpretentious house, where Stephen was 
born the following January. The theory seems to be reasonably sound 
that it was the desire of the elder Decatur to have the prospective 
mother removed far from the excitement and danger incident to the 
occupation of Philadelphia at that time by the British troops under 
Lord Howe; that the country near Philadelphia was in the zone of 
danger and great excitement, and that the lower part of the Eastern 
Shore Peninsula offered the haven of peace and quiet that they 
sought. The occupancy of the house, which then belonged to Isaac 
Murray, was temporary only and for a definite purpose, and when 
that purpose was fulfilled by the birth of the son who was destined 
to shed such glory on his name, and the British troops had evacuated 
Philadelphia, the parents returned there with their boy when he was 
three months old. There his early days were spent and at the Uni- 
versity of Pennsylvania he received the training and pursued the 
studies which made him a man of culture and education as well as a 
man of brilliant daring and courage. The fact remains, however, that 
to Worcester was given the honor of being the deliberately selected 
birthplace of a most distinguished citizen." 

Decatur entered the service of the American Navy as a midship- 
man on the frigate United States at the age of nineteen in 1 798, under 
Commodore Barry. He was soon promoted to the rank of lieutenant. 
In 1 80 1, as first lieutenant of the frigate Essex, he went to the Medi- 
terranean with Commodore Dale's squadron to protect American 
merchantmen against the Barbary pirates. For bravery at Tripoli 
he was promoted to captain in 1804, at the age of twenty-five, then 
the highest rank in the Navy. Later commands gave him the courtesy 
titles of post-captain and commodore, and in 1816 he was made one 
of the commissioners of the American Navy. 

Commodore Decatur married Miss Wheeler of Norfolk. 

He was mortally wounded on March 22, 1820, in a duel with 
Commodore Barron at Bladensburg. Barron, court-martialed in 1 808 
for surrendering the Chesapeake and afterward never given a sea 
command, challenged Decatur, who had sat on the court-martial. 
Taken to his home in Washington, Decatur died a few hours after 
the duel and was buried in St. Peter's Churchyard, Philadelphia, 
where his grave is marked by a handsome monument. 


A View of the Atlantic Ocean 

SINEPUXENT Bay, a long and narrow body of water on the 
eastern side of Worcester County, is separated from the Atlantic 
Ocean by Assateague Island and the North Beach. This inlet was 
the entrance from the ocean into the bay. The remains of a wreck 
may still be seen in the sand. A boat is said to have grounded while 
passing through the inlet, which, when the channel was thus choked, 
rapidly closed. Of the three inlets known to have been used by some 
of the foreign and by the large coastwise shipping in days gone by, 
only the most southerly, Chincoteague, is now open and in use. 

When in March, 1634, Lord Baltimore's colonists sailed up the 
Potomac on the Ark and the Dove and settled at St. Mary's, they 
doubtless cared little for their 1 20 odd miles of distant seacoast along 
the Atlantic. Their immediate work lay closer by, and their settle- 
ment grew first, naturally, in the Chesapeake Bay region. After the 
middle of the century, when they turned their faces east and began in 
earnest to occupy and to govern the seaside, they were opposed by 
shrewd men with plans of their own. All the diplomacy of Governor 



Calvert and the energy of Col. William Stevens, of Somerset County, 
and their successors have been able to preserve of this large ocean 
frontier from stranger claimants is the fifty miles of beach land, with- 
out a deep harbor, comprising the easterly boundary of Worcester 

The early history of this little strip of Maryland's seacoast, pic- 
turesque and full of ancient interest, has never been fully written 
and much of it is now, no doubt, lost in the mists. 

"Who, first among Europeans, set foot upon the island beaches 
of the Maryland coast we do not know. The native inhabitant still 
clings to the tradition that it was most likely some sailor on that 
shipwrecked Spanish vessel which gave to the island of Chincoteague 
her famous wild ponies; and still believes that the master genius of 
the Jamestown settlement, that indefatigable navigator, Capt. John 
Smith, must have fully explored this coast" says Harry F. Covington 
in writing of the visit in 1524 of Verrazzano to the Eastern Shore of 

While acting as navigator for King Francis I of France, this 
Italian, in the "Dauphine" with a crew of fifty men, sailed along the 
Worcester coast. In making his report of the voyage he wrote that 
he came "to another land, which appeared much more beautiful and 
full of the largest forests." To this land he gave the name of Arcadia 
and in 1670 Augustine Herman made a map for Lord Baltimore in 
consideration of a manorial grant, (Bohemia Manor in Cecil County), 
and located Arcadia on this map where Worcester County now is. 




ORIGINALLY all the territory included in Caroline County lay 
within the bounds of Kent and Dorchester. Talbot later had 
jurisdiction over the area between the Choptank River and Tuckahoe 
Creek for forty-five years, when this section was made part of Queen 
Anne's. From the time of the first separation of the region below the 
Choptank into two counties Dorchester extended along the south 
side of the river from the Chesapeake Bay to its headwaters. The 
southeastern corner of Caroline as a part of the northeastern corner 
of Dorchester figured in the claim of Somerset that "Nantecoke 
River on the north" carried its upper boundary to the North- West 
Fork, (Marshy Hope Creek), as the "main branch" of the river, a 
dispute terminated in 1684 by the fixing of the true location of the 
"main branch" of the Nanticoke. 

Surveys began on Kent Island in 1640, on Miles River in 1658, 
and in bayside Dorchester in 1659, ^^d a fourth tide of colonization 
was working up the Peninsula from Accomac ; but pioneers penetrated 
slowly to the upper Choptank, the Tuckahoe and North- West Fork. 
Twenty-nine years had elapsed from the coming of Calvert's colon- 
ists to St. Mary's, and thirty-four from the arrival of Claiborne's 
traders on Kent Island, before the Caroline area knew compass and 
chain. The first survey within its limits was made on March 4, 1663, 
for Thomas Skillington — "Skillington's Right," 300 acres, "on the 
south side Choptank River above the second turning." This was 
speedily followed by surveys on Hunting Creek and Fowling Creek 
and on up the river. By December, 1665, grants far up the northeast 
branch were being made, and the original patent names for tracts in 
this locality appear frequently in the "Summersett" and Dorchester 
Rent Roll. "Cedar Point," the site of the first county-seat, is among 
them; surveyed August 5, 1665, for John Edmondson. Even earlier 



than this, surveys were being made in the "Forrest of Choptank," 
north of the river, and on the east side of the Tuckahoe, designated 
as "the main branch of the Choptank." Not until a long period after- 
ward, however, did settlers venture far to the eastward of the Chop- 
tank. Some surveys were made on Marshy Hope in the last quarter 
of the seventeenth century and grants within the original eastern 
limits of Dorchester were found to be in Delaware when the Penns 
at last succeeded in wresting forty-one per cent of the peninsula 
between the Chesapeake and the Delaware Bays from the Calverts. 
Entries occur in the rent roll: "This land deny'd, being supposed 
to be in the province of Pensilvania," evidently an echo of Penn's 
letters to holders of Maryland grants. 

Whether Dorchester County was created at the same time as 
Somerset, (August, 1666), or a few months before Lord Baltimore, 
(July, i66q), projected Durham County to include the territory along 
the Delaware to the northern charter limits of his Province, cannot 
be certainly known because of the failure so far to find any definite 
and authentic record of the first existence of Dorchester, other than 
a writ to its sheriff. The fact that Somerset was in express terms 
placed south of the Nanticoke, when "that part of the province newly 
seated called the Eastern Shore" had been as expressly bounded on 
the north by the Choptank River, was pointed out to Mr. Skirven, 
who, after carefully consulting many original sources of Maryland 
history relating to this section, came to the conclusion that "The 
Eastern Shore" was divided into these two counties in the same 
year, if not on the same day. To this opinion I strongly incline. The 
settlements on the western waterfront of Dorchester had been growing 
for six years; the military force of the Colony was brought against 
the Nanticoke Indians when their opposition to the extension of 
settlements into the interior between the two great rivers that 
enclosed the Dorchester territory became too formidable for the 
local administration; and the Proprietary, by the erection of the 
temporary Durham and Worcester Counties of i66q and 1672 
completed his fruitless efforts to take full advantage of his charter 
with its fateful hactenus inculta clause. By buying the "claim" of the 
Duke of York, (James II), Penn was enabled to finally add the "three 
lower counties upon Delaware" to Pennsylvania. The result of the 



long controversy was the establishment of the eastern line of Dor- 
chester by Mason and Dixon. 

A century after the peopling of the river and creek fronts of Great 
Choptank Hundred of Dorchester and the Tuckahoe territory, the 
inhabitants urged the erection of a new county. Remote from Cam- 
bridge and Queenstown, they sought a "seat of justice" on the upper 
Choptank. At November Session, 1773, two of Dorchester's Dele- 
gates were William Richardson and Thomas White. Richardson 
brought in a bill which the Assembly passed, carving Caroline out of 
Dorchester and Queen Anne's, and providing for its organization in 
the succeeding March. The county was named after Lady Caroline 
Eden, wife of the last Colonial Governor, and sister of the sixth Lord 
Baltimore, the then Proprietary. The act prescribed that the public 
business should be conducted at "Melvin's Warehouse," (on the 
Choptank just above Denton), until a court house and prison could 
be constructed at "Pig Point," where the county-seat was to be then 
located and known as "Eden-Town." The naming of Caroline and 
Eden Streets in the City of Baltimore was a like compliment to 
Governor and Lady Eden. 

The name of Lady Caroline Calvert is perpetuated, but "Eden- 
Town" is hardly recognizable in Denton. Local self-government in 
Caroline concerned itself for a quarter of a century with a county-seat 
fight. In March, 1779, the "seat of justice" was removed to ''Chop- 
tank Bridge" by the Assembly, which in the succeeding November, 
spurred by indignant remonstrants, hastily enacted a "suspension" of 
the law for seven years. In 1785 the Assembly repealed the county- 
seat provision of 1773, referring to "Eden-Town" as "Edenton," and 
named Joseph Richardson, Jr., William Whitely, John White, Phile- 
mon Downes and David Robinson commissioners to erect public 
buildings at "Melville's Warehouse," the county-seat thus established 
to be known ' 'forever hereafter' ' as ' 'Perrysburgh. ' ' The next year this 
act, too, was "suspended," and petitions favoring "Choptank Bridge" 
and a site at the "center of the county" referred to the following 
Assembly. Finally, in 1790, this war of petitions was ended by a 
referendum, and the Assembly passed "An Act for the removal of 
the seat of justice from Melville's Warehouse to Pig Point," and the 
county-seat was named Denton. William Richardson, Zabdiel Potter, 



Joseph Richardson, Peter Edmondson and Joshua Willis were desig- 
nated commissioners under the act, and four years later Christopher 
Driver, William Robinson, Philemon Downes and Thomas Loocker- 
man were joined with Joseph Richardson. The court house, modeled 
after Independence Hall in Philadelphia, was completed in 1797 and 
stood until 1895, when it was replaced by the present structure. 

The outcome of the county-seat "war" was slowly acquiesced in 
by some county dignitaries, for the Legislature in 1 794 commanded 
certain of them to maintain offices in Denton. The isolated town site 
was made accessible by land by the laying out of roads westward and 
eastward to connect with established highways. 

Of the fifty-one terms of the Caroline County Court held from 
March, 1774, to March, 17Q1, five were at "Choptank Bridge" 
("Bridgetown"), now Greensboro, and all the others at "Melville's 
Warehouse." The question of holding to the county-seat clause of 
the Act of 1773 or making "Choptank Bridge" the county-seat was 
put before the voters at the election of Delegates to the Assembly in 
1790. The poll for the "Pig Point or Lower Candidates " was: Philip 
Walker, 471; Henry Downes, 473; William Robinson, 475; Joseph 
Douglass, 472. That for the "Choptank Bridge or Upper Candi- 
dates" was: William Whitely, 283; William Banckes, 285; Thomas 
Mason, 282, and Hawkins Downes, 274. 

The first court sat at "Melville's Warehouse" on March 15, 16, 
17, 1774, the justices named in the commission being Charles Dickin- 
son, William Haskins, Thomas White, Richard Mason, Joshua Clarke, 
(these five of the quorum) ; Benson Stainton, Nathaniel Potter, 
William Richardson, Matthew Driver, Jr. George Fitzhugh was 
appointed Clerk, William Hopper, Sheriff; Robert Goldsborough IV, 
"Prosecutor of the Pleas of the Crown and Clerk of Indictments." 
Other county officers were William Richardson, deputy clerk; Ben- 
jamin Sylvester and Robert Dixon, coroners ; Thomas Mason, Thomas 
Wynn Loockerman, John Webb, John Cooper, Francis Stevens, sub- 
sheriffs; Christopher Driver, Joshua Willis, James Cooper, Solomon 
Mason, Nathan Downes, constables, the court dividing the county 
into five hundreds — ^Bridgetown, Great Choptank, Fork, Choptank 
and Tuckahoe. At the August term the first juries were drawn : 




Ezekiel Hunter 
Samuel Jackson, Sr. 
Isaac Baggs 
Giles Hicks 
Peter Jumpe 
Philip French 
Richard Andrews 
William Salisbury 
Waitman Goslin 
Aaron Alford 
Maccabees Alford 
James Lecompte, Jr. 
Solomon Hubbert 

Abraham Collins 
William Peters 
John West 
Oneal Price 
Athel Stewart 
1 homas Garrett 
John Covey 
William Smith (Fork) 
Andrew Fountain 

Petit Jury 
Robert Hardcastle 
Thomas Hughlett 
John Robertson 
John Dehorty 
Jacob Rumbley 
John Mitchell 
Jere: Colston 
Thomas Penington 
Edward White 
William Bell 
Thomas Noel 
Aaron Downes 
Morgan Williams 

Orphans" Jury 
Henry Stafford 
Thomas Smith 
William Bradley 
John Stevens (Forest) 
Jonathan Clifton 
David Sylvester 

And eleven grand 

The Caroline "warehouses' ' of colonial days, around which clus- 
tered the commercial life of the period, were "Melville's," "Hunting 
Creek," "Tuckahoe Bridge," (now Hillsboro) ; "Bridgetown" and 
"North- West Fork," (now Federalsburg) . 

Nathaniel Potter and Isaac Bradley were elected Burgesses, (Dele- 
gates to the General Assembly), in April, 1774, Richardson and White 
retaining their seats, but White alone appeared in the Lower House 
at the March Session, 1 774, the last Colonial Legislature. Until Mary- 
land became a free and independent State in 1776, the Province was 
ruled by conventions. With Benson Stainton and Thomas Golds- 
borough the four were sent to the Convention of 1774 by the mass- 
meeting at "Melville's Warehouse" which passed the "Caroline 
Resolutions," affirming loyalty to George III, but proposing an 
embargo on importations from Great Britain by an association of 
the American Colonies until the Boston Port Bill should be repealed. 

As the struggle for independence drew nearer, public sentiment 
in Caroline turned sharply to separation from England. When 
Thomas Johnson, who was a little later to nominate George 
Washington for commander-in-chief, and to become the first Governor 
of the State of Maryland, was refused a seat in the Convention of 
1776 from the other side of the Chesapeake, "the firebrand of the 
Revolution" was promptly placed on the Caroline delegation — an 
offer of a constituency that decided Johnson's place in American 
history as a statesman, and had a far-reaching effect throughout the 
colonies upon the course of events. 

U^ (JiiA/'CiynL b/, UuJ^ 


Antedating Revolution 

WHEN "Skillington's Right" was surveyed in 1663, and "Rich- 
ardson's Folly," 1,400 acres, in 1667 for John Edmondson, they 
were "reputed to be in Talbot" ; and John Richardson, later taking up 
"Willenbrough," qSi acres, surveyed November 14, 1678, invoked 
the aid of the Colonial Land Office to straighten out a tangle of boun- 
daries. A tax return for Great Choptank Hundred of Caroline County 
in 1782 assessed 1,394 acres of the tracts named "Skillington's Right," 
"Richardson's Folly," "Barnett's Purchase," "Plain Dealing," and 
"Sharp's Cost, " to William Frazier. The area fronting on the Great 
Choptank River between Skillington's and Edmondson's Creeks has 
long been known as "Frazier's Neck." Dover Bridge, the sole one 
across the river from the Chesapeake Bay to Denton, is a short dis- 
tance above Edmondson's Creek. 



Since the time of Capt. William Frazier, the plantation upon which 
this house stands has been called "Frazier's Flats." A colony of 
Hollanders was established on the property two decades ago and 
named "Wilhelmina," after the Dutch Queen. The plantation is now 
divided into eight farms, the one upon which the house is located 
being owned by George W. Lankford. The house, the finest specimen 
of colonial architecture extant on the upper Choptank, is traditionally 
said to be one of eight pretentious brick dwellings of contemporary 
construction in this region. Another, (one of four that have been 
destroyed by fire), stood on "Poplar Grove," on the lower side of 
Skillington's Creek, the home of Capt. Charles S. Carmine, father of 
Capt. G. Creighton Carmine, U. S. Coast Guard, and of Mrs. B. 
Washington Wright, the present owner of "Poplar Grove" home- 
stead. A third is the "Jamaica Point" house, on the opposite side 
of the Choptank in Talbot, and a fourth the "Warwick Fort Manor" 
house at the mouth of Warwick River — Secretary's Creek — in Dor- 
chester. Much of the original furniture of the "Frazier's Flats" 
house, remaining in it until a generation ago, was made in Drury 
Lane, London. 

Capt. William Frazier came from Talbot, and was a militia officer 
of the Revolution. He figured largely in Caroline affairs after taking 
up his residence east of the Choptank; was a Justice of the Caroline 
County Court for some years prior to i /qo ; long in the commission of 
the peace, and died in 1808. He was a leader in organizing Methodist 
societies in lower Caroline, and the second house of Methodist worship 
in the county was "Frazier's Chapel," said by Capt. Charles W. Wright 
to have been located on the site of the town of Preston, and to have 
been the forerunner of Bethesda congregation, out of which grew 
Preston M. E. Church. The Bethesda records are continuous from 
1 797. An intimate friend of Francis Asbury, the greatest of Methodist 
itinerants in his journeyings along the Atlantic seaboard was often 
the guest of Captain Frazier. "Dover Ferry," across the Choptank, 
named from the old town of "Dover" on the Talbot side, joined the 
road from Easton with that leading from the eastern Choptank bank 
to lower Delaware, and this road ran across the front of the Frazier 
plantation, the house standing a mile from the entrance gate. Dover 
Bridge is some distance above the old ferry. Jesse Lee, traveling with 



Asbury in May, i/qq, from Easton, over "Dover Ferry," speaks of 
their spending the night at William Frazier's : 

This place was once a home for me when I rode this circuit, almost 
fourteen years ago. I was truly thankful to the Lord for bringing me here 
once more. 

Asbury 's journal of the same date says "we held meeting in his 
[Frazier's] dwelling house," and further records: 

May, 1 80 1 — We had a long ride [from Cambridge] to William Frazier's, 
through dust and excessive heat. It was hard to leave loving souls, so 
we tarried until morning. 

April, 1805— We came to brother Frazier's. The fierceness of the 
wind made Choptank impassable; we had to rest awhile, and need had I, 
being sore with hard service. 

March, 1806 — I stay at Captain Frazier's, Caroline County. My 
hoarseness is afflictive, but my soul is filled with God. ... I only 
exhorted a little at Frazier's Chapel. 

May, 1 807 — At Easton we met Joseph Everett, who conducted us to 
William Frazier's to dine. 

April, iqi3 — Rode 15 miles to preach in Frazier's Chapel. 

Capt. William H. Smith and Mrs. Smith, parents of H. Dimmock 
Smith, of Baltimore, lived at "Frazier's Flats" for about 25 years 
from 1859, the property having been left Mrs. Smith, (Miss Henrietta 
Maria Frazier Dimmock), by her great aunt, the widow of Captain 
Frazier, after whom she was named. Mrs. Smith was a daughter of 
Capt. Charles Dimmock, of Richmond, Virginia, an officer of the 
old army, and a West Pointer, who went into the Confederacy with 
his State. Captain Smith, a civil engineer, built the former Dover 
Bridge, and was later right-of-way agent of the Baltimore and Ohio 
Railroad between the Susquehanna and the Schuylkill. 


Built i68i 

AS soon as a community of settlers had been formed in early Mary- 
L land, a grist mill made its appearance, and these were the first 
manufacturing plants of the Colony. The pioneers could make or 
import their clothing and furniture, and grow and prepare for the 
table many food products upon their land holdings, but an indis- 
pensable adjunct of every settlement was the old-time grist mill, on 
the bank of a stream which furnished power to turn its wheel. These 
mills were geographical landmarks that still survive, in many cases, 
in place-names. For instance, the nomenclature of Worcester County's 
old election districts was taken from its mills, and these in all parts 
of the Eastern Shore have an interesting history. 

The first mention of a mill at the site of the present Linchester 
is found in the Dorchester Rent Roll, where a survey of May 20, 
1682, for Thomas Pattison, is described as being on Hunting Creek, 
"above the mill-dam." Until 1881, Linchester was known as "Upper 
Hunting Creek," and the "Upper Hunting Creek Mill" for 200 years 
had been an important point in that territory. Both sides of the 



creek were settled at an early period. Before the Revolution the mill 
became the property of Col. James Murray, upon whose plantation 
were 70 persons. In May, 177Q, the Council of Safety at Annapolis 
was assured that flour, then greatly needed for the Maryland troops 
with the Continental Army, could be had "at the head of Hunting 
Creek," from Murray's Mill. About 1800 the mill was rebuilt by 
Wright and Corkran, and a large portion of the old structure still 
stands, although the interior has been remodeled for the introduction 
of modern roller-process machinery, and steam power provided as an 
auxiliary to that of water ; but the huge undershot wheel is as ready 
as ever to perform its duty whenever there is a "head" of water. 

The southern boundary of Caroline County in the Act of 1773 
was fixed by this mill, among other landmarks: 

Beginning at a point on the north side of the mouth of Hunting 
Creek in Dorchester County, and from thence running up and with the 
said creek to the main road at James Murray's Mill ; thence with that road 
by Saint Mary's White-Chapel Parish Church to the North-West Fork 
Bridge; thence with the main road (that leads to Cannon's Ferry) to 
Nanticoke River to and with the exterior limits of the aforesaid County 
of Dorchester to the exterior limits of Queen Anne's County, [etc.] 

The Delaware boundary was reached at Johnson's Cross Roads, 
before the new county line extended to the Nanticoke River. 

St. Mary's White-Chapel Church had been built in 1755, the 
parish, almost co-extensive with the later Caroline County, having 
been taken from Great Choptank Parish in 1725, the parish church 
at Cambridge being inaccessible to the upper part of Dorchester. 
After 1776 the church fell into disuse, and about 18 12 was torn down. 

James Murray was assessed with 2,551 acres of land in Caroline 
County in 1782, the land names being "Mischance," "The Plains," 
"Point Ridge," "Summers' Ridge," "Taylor's Kindness," (surveyed 
1 6th June, 1674, for John Edmondson "on the south side Great 
Choptank River in Hunting Creek"); "Andrews' Desire," (surveyed 
5th January, 17 18, for Richard Andrews, "in the woods on the north 
side a branch of Hunting Creek"); "Harry's Valley," "Joseph's 
Valley," "Addition to David's Venture," "Square Chance," "Willis's 
Lot," "Bank of Pleasure, " "Conna way's Beginning," "Murray's Pre- 
vention," "David's First Venture," "Murray's Adventure," "Nehe- 
miah's Venture." 


Built 1808 

ZABDIEL POTTER, a sea captain from Rhode Island, and a scion 
of the noted colonial family of that name in New England, came 
up the Choptank before the middle of the eighteenth century, and 
made his home in the vicinity where "Coquericus Creek," known 
only to this generation by its appearance on the records, entered the 
river. "Coquericus Fields," of 600 acres, was surveyed June 16, 1673, 
for Thomas Phillips, and "Coquericus Creek" became "Phillips' 
Creek." Later surveys gave "Lloyd's Hill Improved" and "Lloyd's 
Grove" to the Potter holdings, these three tracts being owned in 1782 
by Dr. Zabdiel Potter. 

The original settler built a small brick house on the knoll over- 
looking the river 160 or more years ago, and made "Potter's Landing" 
a point of commercial importance on the upper river. In those days 
vessels sailed directly to British ports with tobacco, the colonial crop, 
from the northeast branch of the Choptank, and brought back car- 
goes of the many things the colonists had to import. Capt. Zabdiel 
Potter commanded one of these vessels, and, in 1760, "being bound 



on a voyage to sea," with its attending uncertainties, he made a will, 
which was probated in 1761. 

Two sons survived him. Dr. Zabdiel Potter and Nathaniel Potter. 
Both were especially active during the Revolution, and Nathaniel 
served in the Maryland Conventions. Nathaniel, who never married, 
died in 1783, and Dr. Zabdiel Potter ten years later. One son of the 
latter, born in the original home, became Dr. Nathaniel Potter, a 
founder of the School of Medicine of the University of Maryland, and 
a Baltimore practitioner and teacher of widespread fame. William 
Potter, the second son, who built the "Potter Mansion," died in 1847, 
and is buried near the house, where his wife, a daughter of Col. Wil- 
liam Richardson, also lies. He became a brigadier-general of the 
Maryland Militia, after long service in lower ranks; was three times a 
member of the Governor's Council, and its "first-named" in 1816 and 
1 83 1, ranking next to the Governor in the State administration; and 
was repeatedly elected to the Legislature. 

General Potter left one son, Zabdiel Webb Potter, who died in 
Cecil in 1855. While none of the Potter name are now in Caroline, 
General Potter has a number of descendants in Baltimore City and 
elsewhere in the State. Dr. Walter S. Turpin, of Church Hill, Queen 
Anne's County, married Ann Webb Richardson Potter, and after her 
death married her sister, Maria C. Potter, both daughters of General 
Potter. Commander Walter S. Turpin, U.S. Navy, is his great-grand- 
son, and among other descendants in Queen Anne's is Mrs. J. Spencer 
Wright, (formerly Miss Annie W. R. Turpin), a granddaughter. The 
late William S. Potter, of Baltimore City, was General Potter's 
grandson, and the only son of Zabdiel Webb Potter. 

After the death of General Potter, the property was bought by 
Col. Arthur John Willis, who lived there until his death in i88q. 
Colonel Willis maintained the social traditions of the old homestead, 
and the standing of "Potter's Landing" as the chief business center of 
Caroline County. It had been called "Potter's Town" earlier in the 
century, and was the leading shipping point of Caroline County from 
the first Zabdiel Potter's time, until after the Civil War. Both Gen- 
eral Potter and Colonel Willis kept lines of sailing vessels in the 
Baltimore trade, and until the late nineties, the river was the one route 
of communication of central and lower Caroline with the State's 



metropolis. Colonel Willis was an active and influential Union man 
during the Civil War. initiated the raising of the First Eastern Shore 
Regiment, Maryland Volunteers, four companies of which were 
recruited at "Potter's Landing" ; represented the United States abroad 
at a critical period of the war, and served in the field during the 1 863 
campaign. He was elected to the Senate of Maryland in 1 849 and 1 863 , 
and also served in the House of Delegates. The post office name of 
"Potter's Landing " was changed to Williston in memory of Colonel 
Willis. One of his daughters, Mary Virginia, married B. Gootee 
Stevens, and Mrs. William D. Uhler, wife of the State highway 
engineer of Pennsylvania; Mrs. H. Earle Smith, of Denton, and 
Mrs. Elmer E. Wheeler, of Baltimore City, are granddaughters of 
Colonel Willis. 

The brilliant social regime at the "Potter Mansion" during the 
lifetime of General Potter and of Colonel Willis ended with the death 
of the latter, the house since having been partly occupied by tenants. 
The kitchen wing of the building is the original structure erected by 
Zabdil Potter in the middle of the eighteenth century. When the 
property was sold by the heirs of Colonel Willis, three years ago, it 
was purchased, with the wharf and other buildings, by Lawrence B. 
Towers, Clerk of the Circuit Court for Caroline County. The Towers 
Wharf property, just below on the river, is owned by his brother, 
Thomas Frederick Towers— this being the homestead of their father, 
William Frank Towers, and where Chairman Albert Garey Towers, 
of the Maryland Public Service Commission, and his elder brother, 
Lawrence, were born. The younger brother was born at "Gilpin's 
Point," also a homestead of this family, and famous in a bygone day 
as the home of Col. William Richardson, (173 5- 1825). 

Colonel Richardson is buried on the place, which lies opposite the 
mouth of the Tuckahoe, and was surveyed in 1683 as ''Mulrain." 
He gave his seat in the Convention of 1776 to Thomas Johnson; was 
colonel of the only Eastern Shore Battalion of the Flying Camp, 
which at Harlem Heights made the first bayonet charge of the 
Revolution. From January i, 1777, until his resignation on October 
22, 1779, he commanded the Fifth Regiment of the Maryland Line, 
John Eager Howard being its lieutenant-colonel. He held many 
public offices, and died as Treasurer of the Eastern Shore. 


Near Denton 

STANDING in a grove on the north side of the road leading west- 
ward from the Choptank River at Denton, and a short distance 
from the river, this homely and weatherbeaten wooden structure has 
for several generations been a landmark of the "Logan's Horns" 
tract. For years, however, no religious service has been held in it, 
and the "Neck Meeting" of Friends, which sent reports in the first 
and middle quarters of the nineteenth century from this house of 
worship to the next higher meeting, the Third Haven Monthly Meet- 
ing at Easton, which kept the records, has passed entirely out of 
existence. No members of the "Neck Meeting" are left in the com- 
munity, and far and wide are scattered the descendants of those who 
once gathered here for prayer and praise. 

Early in the last century, or in the latter part of the eighteenth, 
this property passed to the Friends from the Nicolites, a small sect 
very similar in thought and practice, but of independent origin. The 
"Neck Meeting House," so called from its location on the upper verge 
of Tuckahoe Neck, is the last of the three places of worship that 
belonged to the Nicolites on the Maryland and Delaware Peninsula. 

[ i6q 


Their founder, Joseph Nicol, born in Delaware near the Caroline 
border about 1 700, was wild and thoughtless in his youth, and fore- 
most in the rude merrymaking and worse of a band that then infested 
the State line of the same character as that described in George Alfred 
Townsend's "Entailed Hat." The sudden death of a comrade at a 
dance impressed Nicol, and he became quiet and meditative. When 
he spoke of the serious problems of life and the importance of being 
prepared for certain death, it was with such power and fervor that 
many people assembled to hear him discourse. Meeting places were 
provided, but he never promised to "preach." He said he intended 
to be "obedient" only. He was the sole leader of his sect, and with 
his death, while yet in the prime of manhood, his followers seem to 
have been absorbed by the Friends, "who were then at the zenith of 
their zeal for reforms in the world which have since largely been 
made, if we except the great question of war," writes Wilson M. 
Tylor, of Easton. "The Nicolites were quietists in form and endeav- 
ored to lead the simple life," according to Mr. Tylor: 

I well remember the last remaining Nicolite. With his death the departing 
ray of flickering light from that sect forever set. His name was Elisha Meloney, 
(remembered still, perhaps, by some of the older citizens of Caroline), who died 
about the beginning of the Civil War. He lived between the farms of Col. 
Richard C. Carter and Capt. Robert W. Emerson, on the road leading from 
Denton to Hillsboro. He was a real Samaritan. Elisha Meloney never identi- 
fied himself with Friends, though he attended the "Neck Meeting" regularly 
until his death. 

In the graveyard of the "Neck Meeting House" lie a few of the 
former members of this Friends' organization, among them the par- 
ents of Mr. Tylor, whose brother, J. Edward Tylor, now owns the 
property, title having been given him by the Third Haven Monthly 
Meeting, with the sanction of the General Assembly of 1904. 

And a sheltering place for the birds of the air 

May this house become, where once echoed prayer. 

But the Spirit of God is above heat and frost. 

And the echoes of prayer can never be lost. 

The life of a Christian for ages may gleam. 

Though his sect cannot wear Christ's coat without seam — 

are the concluding lines of a poem on Joseph Nicol's life and work 
written by the late Miss Rachel B. Sattherthwaite, of Talbot, a half- 
sister of Mr. Tylor. 

[ 170] 

Built 1783 

ON one of the gables of this fine specimen of colonial architecture, 
built at the close of the Revolution, is the legend, traced in the 
customary way, "B. S., 1783." These initials testify to the identity 
of the builder, Benjamin Silvester. Many land grants in this region 
of Caroline run in the names of Silvester, Purnell and Boon, dating 
back a hundred or more years before Benjamin Silvester erected 
this house upon one of them. 

"The Golden Lyon," August 5, 1675, ^00 acres; "Mischiefe," 
March 2, 1679, ^oo acres; "Bear Garden," July 24, 1683, 353 acres; 
"Silvester's Forrest," August 3, 1682, 250 acres; "Silvester's Addition," 
March 17, i68q, 214 acres; "Woodland," May 17, i68q, 100 acres, 
were surveyed for James Silvester, and some of these tracts were 
"possest" by Benjamin Silvester and James Silvester, Jr., when the 
rent roll of 1722 was made up. Richard Purnell owned "The 
Golden Lyon" and "Dudley's Chance, ' 200 acres, surveyed June 
26, 1679. "Partnership," 500 acres, was surveyed October 27, 1683, 
for William Purnell, Richard Purnell, and John Boon; and "Pur- 
nell's Forrest, " 500 acres, July 4, 1683, for William Purnell. In 1722 



it was "possest by William Boon, who married Purnell's widow." 
Other lands are also mentioned as being held by William Boon "in 
right of his wife." "Purnell's Chance," loo acres, was surveyed 
October 27, 1683, for William Purnell, and "Purnell's Addition," 
150 acres, April 27, 1688, for William and Richard Purnell. William 
Boon owned part of "The Oak Ridge," 380 acres, surveyed November 
25, 1678, for John James and John Boon; "Boon's Pleasure," 250 
acres, surveyed February 5, 1720; "Boon's Park," 200 acres, Novem- 
ber 7, 1679; "Hiccory Ridge," 150 acres, November 15, 1678, and 
"Haddon," 400 acres, February 3, i68q, were surveyed for John 
Boon. Some of these tracts were contiguous to or lay nearby "Dicken- 
son's Plains," 860 acres, surveyed for William Dickenson and Love- 
lace Gorsuch, ''on the east side the main branch of Tuckahoe Creek." 
"Swanbrook," 770 acres, surveyed 1688, for Lovelace Gorsuch, was, 
like "Dickenson's Plains," "possest" by William Dickenson in 1722. 

Benjamin Silvester died in 1797, and Isaac Purnell was his execu- 
tor. In this house was born Mrs. Mary M. Bourne, and she inherited 
the "Oak Lawn " estate from her grandfather, Benjamin Silvester, 
and many ancestral acres in the Silvester and Purnell families. Allen 
Thorndike Rice, editor of the North American Review, spent part of 
his boyhood at "Oak Lawn" with his grandmother, Mrs. Bourne, 
who later had built on "The Plains," nearby, a magnificent summer 
home, now converted into St. Gertrude's Convent of the Benedictine 
Sisters. Mrs. Bourne died at Newport, Rhode Island, in 1881. 

"Oak Lawn" is two and a half miles from the town of Ridgely, 
founded in 1867. Bayard Taylor came down the newly built railroad 
from Clayton to Easton in 1871, on a tour of the Eastern Shore and 
breathed "the oldest atmosphere of life " to be found "anywhere in 
this republic." His classic "Down the Eastern Shore" in Harper s 
comments on the English character of the scenery, the attractive 
country of Caroline and Talbot; the estates and genealogies of the 
region. The town of Ridgely was named after Rev. Greenbury 
W. Ridgely, who lived at "Oak Lawn" from 1858 until his death 
in 1883 — a native of Kentucky, of Maryland lineage, once a law 
partner at Lexington of Henry Clay, and for forty years before his 
retirement to Caroline an active clergyman of the Episcopal Church. 

"Oak Lawn" is now owned by John K. Lynch. 


Built 1782 

Built 1783 

ANOTHER example of eighteenth century brick architecture in 
L the region between the Choptank and the Tuckahoe — where 
agricultural development has in the past two decades reached a 
remarkably high point — is "Cedarhurst," on the Oakland -Greens- 
boro road. This is one of the Boon houses, built in 1782; another is 
that on the "Marblehead" farm, in the same neighborhood. 

John Boon was the owner of "Marblehead" early in the last cen- 
tury, the plantation being made up by him from various tracts. The 
doors and mantels and interior woodwork of these two houses speak 
eloquently of the consummate art of the olden-time carpenters and 
joiners. The first-floor windows of "Marblehead" are high above the 
ground, and give a fortress-like air to the structure. It passed out of 
the Boon family connection when the heirs of William Boon Massey, 
in 1Q04, sold it to Irwin T. and Albert G. Saulsbury, of Ridgely, sons 
of James Keene Saulsbury, one of the founders of that town. "Cedar- 
hurst," another Massey property, was sold about the same time, and 
for some years has been the home of James H. Pippin. 

[ 173 ] 


Ten miles to the south of "Cedarhurst' and "Marblehead," on 
the north bank of the Tuckahoe River, (no longer designated as 
"creek" since it became known to the Rivers and Harbor Bill), is a 
third house of like age. This is called the "Thawley House," (origin- 
ally the "Daffin House"), from its late owner, William H. Thawley, 
of Hillsboro, whose widow and children now have title to the property. 
It faces a public road, with a view of the picturesque stream of the 
Tuckahoe at the back, and was built by Thomas Daffin in 1783. The 
Daffin family was prominent in the early history of Caroline, and 
Charles Daffin was for years a Justice of the County Court, and held 
many representative positions. 

Andrew Jackson, of Tennessee, attending the sessions at Phila- 
delphia of the Fourth Congress as a Representative and of the Fifth 
as a Senator, is said to have visited Caroline, and to have been a 
guest at the Daffin home, as well as at others on the eastern bank of 
the Choptank. Here he made the acquaintance of young Charles 
Dickinson, whom he successfully urged to move to Tennessee, and 
the sequel to their one-time friendship and amicable business relations, 
which did not survive the exigencies of Tennessee politics and social 
life, was the duel on the Red River in Kentucky in which Dickinson 

[ 174] 

Built 1781 

THOMAS HARDCASTLE, eldest son of the original settler of 
this name on the Eastern Shore, Robert Hardcastle, was the 
builder of this house. Its construction was delayed by the Revolu- 
tionary War, in which Peter Hardcastle, third son of Robert, was a 
Major of Continental troops. After the death of Thomas Hardcastle, 
"Castle Hall" was occupied by his son, William MoUeson Hardcastle, 
(1778- 1 874), and its third owner was Dr. Alexander Hardcastle. 
father of Alexander Hardcastle, Jr., of the Baltimore bar. The name- 
sake of Dr. William Molleson, an early physician at "Bridgetown" 
and a prominent patriot in Caroline at the time of the Revolution, 
William Molleson Hardcastle was eleven times elected to the Mary- 
land Assembly. He married Anna, daughter of Henry Colston, of 
Talbot, and two of their sons — ^Alexander, and Edward B., of Talbot — 
were physicians. The former practiced for many years at "Castle 
Hall," and married a daughter of U. S. Senator Arnold Naudain, of 
Delaware. His later years were spent in Denton, where he died 
January 24, 191 1, in his seventy-fifth year. 

Robert Hardcastle came from England, and in 1748 patented 



lands in Queen Anne's County, (later included in Caroline). His home- 
stead was on the west bank of the Choptank, above "Brick Mills." Of 
his several sons, some removed to Virginia and the Western territory. 
The eldest of Thomas' eight sons, Aaron Hardcastle, was the father 
of Edward Bourke Hardcastle, long a merchant at Denton, who 
married Ann, daughter of Caleb Lockwood, of Delaware. Their sons, 
Edmund LaFayette and Aaron Bascom, became officers in the U. S. 

Edmund LaFayette Hardcastle, the first cadet appointed from Caroline to 
the West Point Military Academy, was named in 1842 by Representative James 
Alfred Pearce. He graduated in 1846, fifth, and a "star" member, of his class 
of fifty-nine, McClellan being second and Pickett last. Foster, Reno, Couch, 
Seymour, Gilbert, Sturgis, Stoneman, Oakes, Palmer, Gibbs, Gordon, Myers, 
Floyd-Jones, Wilkins, Whistler, Davis later rose to high rank in the Federal 
Army. "Stonewall" Jackson, (No. 17 in the class), Adams, Smith, Maury, 
Jones, Wilcox, Gardner, Maxey were the graduates who joined the Con- 
federacy. Hardcastle, with nine of his classmates, was in civil life in 1861, and 
declined to take sides, although offered high command. 

As Second Lieutenant of Topographical Engineers, (the "star" graduates 
having choice of this corps), Hardcastle was with Scott from the siege of Vera 
Cruz to the capture of the City of Mexico, rendering brilliant service in every 
engagement. Scott mentioned him at Cerro Gordo; "for gallant and meri- 
torious conduct" at Contreras and Churubusco he was brevetted First Lieu- 
tenant, and Molino del Rey gave him a brevet-Captaincy. vScott assigned him 
to make a survey for the drainage of the City of Mexico and its protection from 
lake overflows; he ran the northwestern Mexican-United States boundary 
under the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo; was first engineer secretary of the 
Light House Board; planned the lighthouses at Seven-foot Knoll, at the mouth 
of the Patapsco, and on Minot's Ledge, Massachusetts, two triumphs of engi- 
neering skill; resigned from the Army April 30, 1856, and settled in Talbot, 
on the "Plaindealing" estate, becoming one of the largest landowners and 
foremost agriculturists of the county; delegate to the Charleston and Balti- 
more Democratic conventions of 1 860 ; President of the Maryland and Dela- 
ware Railroad; Delegate in General Assembly, 1870, 1878; appointed brigadier- 
general of the Maryland Militia by Governors Groome and Carroll; died 
August 10, i8qq. 

Aaron Bascom Hardcastle, appointed from Caroline to the Army as Second 
Lieutenant of the Sixth Infantry, by President Pierce in 1855, was post adjutant 
of Fort Laramie when the Mormon Expedition was fitted out, and marched 
with it under Albert Sidney Johnston in the winter campaign of 1857-58. 
Resigning his commission as First Lieutenant at San Diego, Cal., in 1861 he 
came East with Johnston, raised a battalion in Mississippi, and took it into 
action at Shiloh; was a regimental commander at Missionary Ridge, and in all 
the battles of the retreat through Georgia. From 1876 till his death, in 1Q15, 
Colonel Hardcastle was a resident of Easton. 

"Castle Hall" is now owned by J. Spencer Lapham, a noted mid- 
Peninsula agriculturist. 


Built i/Sq 

PLAINDEALING," the home of J. Boon Dukes, a half mile below 
Denton, on the State road through Caroline County, has a most 
attractive situation, and the trees, meadow, and well-kept farmstead 
closely copy a typically English rural scene. Mr. Dukes, a former 
State Immigration Commissioner, and active in the public life of his 
county for a long period, was born in this house in 1840, and has lived 
there ever since. His father, James Dukes, owned about 2,000 acres 
of land on the Choptank River, between the branches of Watts' 
Creek, and on both sides of the old road to "Potter's Landing." now 
a State highway. He added the "Plaindealing " house to his holdings 
when it was sold by the county authorities in 1823, with six acres 
of ground. 

This house, remodeled since it came into the Dukes family, was 
built for the county home of the poor of Caroline, in i/Sq, and its 
original construction evidences that it was the intention of the County 
Commissioners of that day to provide a home for their charges equal 
in comfort and almost in dimensions to any private residence then 

[ ^77 ] 


extant in the county. After being devoted to this purpose for about 
thirty years, "Plaindealing" was replaced as a county home by a 
farm much farther from Denton. 

"Plaindealing" has been a hospitable social center of the commun- 
ity for the past ninety years. 

Watts' Creek, a small tributary of the Choptank, has been a 
geographical landmark since the days of the first settlements along 
the upper Choptank. Tradition says it once provided a refuge for 
Captain Kidd, whose "buried treasure" has been sought in its banks. 
Now it is no longer navigable, even for small boats. "Rochester" and 
"Indian Quarter" were surveyed on it in 1665; "Hampstead," "Hall's 
Fortune, " "Kirkham's Discovery," "Surveyor's Forrest," in 1682; 
"Apparly," "James' Park, " "Rattlesnake Ridge," in 1683; "Parshar," 
"Hermitage, " "Chettell's Lot, " "Chestnut Ridge," and other tracts 
after the beginning of the eighteenth century. The creek's branches, 
"markt trees," and "bounded gumbs" are described minutely. "Plain- 
dealing," 200 acres, was surveyed October 22, 1706. 

James Dukes died in 1842, and his widow survived at "Plain- 
dealing" until 1882. She was a daughter of John Boon, of "Marble- 
head," the first State Senator from Caroline County elected by 
popular vote. Most of the time from 181 2 to 1836 he was a Judge 
of the Orphans' Court. 

Referring to his own identification with "Plaindealing," Mr. 
Dukes says that he is "equally proud of the fact that a former slave 
of the family, Herbert, also born and raised on the place, has remained 
with the family to this time." 




UNLIKE the other Eastern Shore counties, Wicomico, youngest 
of the nine, was created by a Constitutional Convention, the 
act of which became operative when ratified by the voters in the 
territory affected. Four of the twenty-three Maryland counties were 
created by Constitutional Conventions; two, (Washington and Mont- 
gomery), by that of 1776; one, (Howard), by that of 1851, and the 
fourth, (Wicomico), by that of 1867. That this section of the old 
Counties of Somerset and Worcester was becoming so thickly popu- 
lated as to justify the forming of a new county has been borne out 
by the recent growth of Wicomico and its county-seat, Salisbury. 
Wicomico is easily accessible to the Chesapeake Bay, but has no 
extensive bay frontage like six of its Eastern Shore sisters. Caroline 
is the sole inland Eastern Shore county, and Worcester lies on the 

Indians held full sway in this forest-covered part of Maryland 
when the charter of 1632 was granted to Cecilius Calvert, and after 
the early settlements were made on the "Eastern Shore" they traded 
with the Swedes on the Delaware and brought beaver, wolf and other 
skins of wild animals down the Wicomico and Nanticoke Rivers to 
the old settlement of "Green Hill," the erection of which into a town 
was later authorized by Act of Assembly, ( 1 706) . Little of the geog- 
raphy of the country was known to the first colonists, and the rivers 
were their only routes of communication in that densely wooded 
locality. Not until 1760 did the present line between Sussex County, 
Delaware, and what is now Wicomico County become fixed, and in 
1763 Mason and Dixon began to run the line between Maryland and 
Pennsylvania and Delaware. 

The part of the old County of Somerset now embraced in Wicom- 
ico is co-extensive with the western and southern bounds of two of 

[ 179] 


the old civil divisions of Somerset, once known as Wicomico and 
Nanticoke Hundreds. Then, too, these bounds are almost identical 
with the bounds of Stepney Parish at the time it was laid out. 

Upon the assumption in i6q2 of the government of the Province 
of Maryland by the English Crown, Sir Lionel Copley was sent as 
the first royal Governor and he at once had an Act passed by the 
Assembly establishing by law the Church of England in the Province, 
and in accordance with this law each county was divided into parishes. 
Of the thirty laid out in the Province four were in Somerset County. 
Stepney Parish was one of them, and its bounds were about the same 
as the bounds of Wicomico County. When the freeholders assembled 
to lay out the parish they met at the house of Rev. John Hewitt, 
who was the first rector. Prior to the making of the Church of 
England the established church of the Province all worship had been 
free and churches had been supported by voluntary contributions, 
but then all "taxables" had to contribute to the extent of forty pounds 
of tobacco per poll to maintain the establishment. Protestant dis- 
senters and Quakers were allowed their separate meeting houses if 
they paid the tax. 

When "Green Hill" was made a town it became a port of entry. 
It was laid out in loo lots and on Lot i6 Green Hill Church was 
built in 1733. One of the chapels of ease of this parish was known 
in 1768 as Goddard's Chapel, and as it had become unfit for use it 
was ordered torn down and rebuilt on "two acres of land on the 
south side of Wicomico River and above the branch whereon the 
mill of William Venables is built." This is the present site of the 
Episcopal Church in Salisbury. 

Salisbury was laid out according to Act of Assembly in 1732, and 
is now the largest town on the Eastern Shore, and has many industries 
that insure its still further growth in the future. Situated on the 
Wicomico River, it presented to the observer a very unique position 
prior to 1867, inasmuch as Division Street of the town was the 
dividing line between Worcester County and Somerset County. Those 
living on the east side of the street were obliged to go to Snow Hill 
to attend to court matters, while those on the west side of Division 
Street went to Princess Anne. This condition obtained for many 
years prior to 1867. Tired of it and vexed by its annoyances the 

[ i8o1 


people of Salisbury, led by the Grahams, Leonards, Todds, Toadvines 
and Jacksons, succeeded in carrying the election in favor of forming 
the new county. 

No company of old soldiers at a reunion can grow as animated 
in reminiscence as can a party of Wicomico countians, who took 
part in that memorable campaign of 1867, when discussing its strenu- 
osities. All the allied eloquence, craft and political sagacity of the 
leaders of all parties in both Worcester and Somerset were arrayed 
against the "upstarts ' of this section, which wanted to deprive them, 
each, of one-third of their territory, and set up the presumption that 
Salisbury could possibly be in a class with either Snow Hill or Princess 
Anne. Geographically speaking, brother was arrayed against brother. 
The Franklins and Joneses and Crisfields and Dashiells were fighting 
the Grahams and Leonards and Todds and Toadvines and Jacksons. 

The names of Wicomico's first officials are of men known to every 
Wicomico countian. Thomas F. J. Rider was chosen the first Clerk 
of the Circuit Court — his name is interwoven with much of the 
county's subsequent history. Salisbury's then leading merchant, 
William Birckhead, was chosen the first Register of Wills, and no 
man could have inspired greater confidence. To Barren Creek Dis- 
trict went the shrievalty, William Howard, being the county's first 
Sheriff. Who can even think of the earlier days of the Salisbury 
Advertiser without linking in the same thought the name of Lemuel 
Malone, its editor, afterward by an appreciative Governor given the 
title of "Colonel" ? To him was given the honor of being the county s 
first State Senator. Ritchie Fooks and George Hopkins were its first 
Delegates to the General Assembly. 

For a number of years the county had neither court house nor 
jail, these being built in 1878. Terms of the Circuit Court were held 
in Jackson's Opera House, the various county officials having offices 
in nearby quarters. 

The names of many living at the time the county was formed are 
of men who stood for what was best in civic, social and religious life, 
whose very living at that time, with their active participation in its 
stirring events, presaged successful and conservative business adminis- 
tration for the new county. 

There was Purnell Toadvine, a man of affairs, who left large 



impress upon his community; and there was Gen. Humphrey Hum- 
phreys, of whom the same may be said, and Col. William J. Leonard, 
William Birckhead, whose name stood not only for business success, 
but for personal probity; Milton Parsons, and the tall, angular, honest 
John White; Hugh Jackson, and his sons, Elihu, William, Wilbur 
Fisk; Col. Samuel A. Graham, Drs. Marion F. and Albert Slemons. 
Dr. H. Laird Todd, Dr. Kerr, Josephus Humphreys, William Howard. 
James Gillis and Beauchamp Gillis, William Levi and James Laws; 
Andrew and Nelson Crawford; Elijah, William and Peter Freeny, 
King V. White, Isaac H. Dulany, George Lowe, George Hitch. 
These men stood for much in their county and verily their deeds do 
live after them, and they have left a goodly heritage to the old and 
middle-aged men and women of today, their sons and daughters. 

No cosmopolite character enters into the class making up Wicom- 
ico's citizenship. Most of us know who was the grandfather and the 
great-grandfather and maybe the great-great-grandfather of nearly 
everybody else, and what he was and did and whence he came. And 
we are proud of the knowledge both of what we are and who we are, 
and what and who our neighbors are. No community, so constituted, 
ever goes far wrong. 

Two decades after its organization, Wicomico added a Governor 
of Maryland to the Eastern Shore list. Elihu Emory Jackson, elected 
in 1887, was inaugurated January 1 1, 1888, and remained the State's 
Chief Executive until January 13, iSqi. The original territory of 
Somerset has furnished two other Governors. Levin Winder, of 
Somerset, held the office from November 25, 181 2, until January 2, 
1 8 16, and John Walter Smith, of Worcester, was Governor from 
January 10, iqoo, until January 13, 1Q04. 

A' J/l4r?yy f^MdL 


Built 1733 

OLD Green Hill" Church, was built in 1733 and stands on the banks 
of the Wicomico River, partly hidden from view of passing boats 
by the great oaks that surround it. It was the parish church of 
Stepney Parish, one of the original thirty laid out in ibqi. The first 
vestrymen of this parish were James Weatherly, John Bounds, Philip 
Carter, Robert Collyer, Thomas Holebrook and Philip Askue. The 
land on which this relic of colonial days was built was sold to the 
vestry of Stepney Parish on April iq, 173 1, by Neal McClester, and 
is described in the deed as "all that lot of land lying in a place in the 
county aforesaid called and known by the name of Green Hill Town 
which by the commissioners for laying out the said town was num- 
bered sixteen." 

The chapels of ease of the parish were "Goddard's Chapel" and 
"Spring Hill Chapel." The first of these had become so dilapidated 
that the assembly authorized the vestry of Stepney Parish "to pur- 
chase two acres of land on the south side of Wicomico River and 
above the branch whereon the mill of William Venables is built" and 



to rebuild "Goddard Chapel" thereon. This is the present site of the 
Episcopal church in Salisbury. One hundred thousand pounds of 
tobacco were levied to be collected in 1768 and 1769 to rebuild the 
chapel. Two acres were purchased "near unto the place where Spring 
Hill Chapel now stands to erect the new chapel" there in 1768. For 
this chapel sixty thousand pounds of tobacco were levied to be col- 
lected in 1770 and 1771. 

One of the distinguished sons of Somerset once rector of Stepney 
Parish, the Rev. William Murray Stone, became, in 1830, Bishop of 
the Diocese of Maryland. At that time the diocese was co-extensive 
with the State. During the war with Great Britain and until 1 783 
there was no rector in Stepney. Because of their loyalty to the crown 
the clergy were deprived of support, vestries ceased to exist in their 
official capacity and the churches were closed with few exceptions. 

The Rev. Hamilton Bell, Jr., was the first rector of Stepney 
Parish under the Vestry Act of 1779, which Act of the Maryland 
Assembly gave to the churches the property they had held under 
the rule of the Lords Baltimore. 

The following names appear in the Register of old Stepney Parish : 








^ Griffen 





\ Handy 









\ Dennis 





N Denwood 



^ Stone 








^ Horsey 




N Dixon 










































^ Price 









^ l,owe 

Revel 1 












Built 1741 

A SHORT distance above the mouth of the Wicomico River this 
body of water narrows down and follows a winding course for 
many miles. High land is passed, at intervals, on both sides of the 
river, and the brick foundations of many old structures are seen on a 
trip up the Wicomico to Salisbury. On one of the banks of the many 
reaches of this river, after passing "Old Green Hill Church," stands 
a large red-brick house with a shingled gambrel roof and quaint 
dormer windows — this is "Pemberton Hall," one of the homes of the 
distinguished Handy family of Wicomico County. 

This house was built in 1741 by one of the Handys, and the date 
of building can be seen in the brick end of the house, the figures being 
outlined in black bricks. "Pemberton Hall" is probably the third 
oldest building standing in Wicomico County — "Green Hill Church," 
built in 1733, and the "Ben Davis House," which was the church 
parsonage, are older. The interior of this colonial homestead is typical 
of the homes of that period. Upon entering the front door a wide hall 
is seen extending through the house from north to south, and in its 



earlier days might have been called a living-room. The west end of 
the lower floor is one large room, where the dances and celebrations 
of colonial times were held. On the east side of the hall are two large 
rooms, one of which was the dining-room and is so used today. The 
old staircase is very graceful and is made of heart pine, which wood 
was also used for all the floors. This woodwork is well preserved and 
in almost as good condition as when the house was built. The kitchen, 
located on the east side of the house, was separated from the main 
building by a colonnade, both of which were of wood and up to twenty- 
five years ago the original structure stood. 

In addition to this place, the Handys were also owners of "Pem- 
berton," on the west side of the Wicomico River, and "Pemberton's 
Good Will," located on the opposite side of the river. In 1732, the 
town of Salisbury was established by an Act of the Assembly on the 
land of William Winder, a minor, and laid out, adjoining the cele- 
brated "Handy Hall" farm on the east. The Handys at that time 
owned "Pemberton's Good Will" and "Pemberton," which included 
"Pemberton Hall" and "Handy's Hall." These Handys and their 
descendants, many of whom were lawyers and jurists of distinction, 
owned both of these properties until 1835, when they were purchased 
by Jehu Parsons and by will devised to his son, Alison C. Parsons. On 
the death of the latter, in 1868, the farm was sold at trustee's sale to 
Elihu E. Jackson and James Cannon, who afterward divided the farm 
— Cannon keeping the part on the riverside until he sold it to Cadmus 
J. Taylor, who remained there until his death, and it now belongs to 
his son, James Ichabod Taylor, who continues to reside at "Pemberton 

[ 186 

Built lyq^ 

THE property known as "Pemberton's Good Will" was purchased 
by Maj. Levin Handy, who came to Maryland from Rhode Island, 
in 1795, from heirs of Capt. John Winder. Major Handy's former 
State is used with his name in the deed to distinguish him from Col. 
Levin Handy, of the Revolutionary Army, although it is said that 
the Major was originally from Somerset. These Winder heirs were 
the three daughters of Captain Winder, who had married, respectively, 
J. R. Morris, Levin Handy and David Wilson. Capt. John Winder 
was the father of Governor Levin Winder and Maj. -Gen. William H. 
Winder. A son of David Wilson and Priscilla Winder was Col. 
Ephraim King Wilson, the elder. Representative in the Twentieth 
and Twenty-first Congresses, and the father of Senator Ephraim 
King Wilson, the younger. Colonel Wilson married a daughter of 
Col. Samuel Handy, of Worcester. 

After buying "Pemberton's Good Will," Major Handy built the 
present mansion, using largely New Jersey heart pine and sparing no 
cost in the construction. Its large rooms and spacious hall lend them- 



selves now, as in past generations, kdmirably to social functions. The 

interior finish — woodwork and paifiting — have been of keen interest 
to the community for years, and much praised by those seeking true 
colonial models. George W. D. Waller, the present owner and occu- 
pant of "Poplar Hill Mansion," wishing to restore some of this work, 
could find no artisan in his neighborhood to undertake it and was 
told that this craftsmanship of a century ago was now unknown. 

After Maj. Levin Handy, the property was owned by Peter 
Dashiell, a brother-in-law of Dr. John Huston, to whom he conveyed 
"Poplar Hill" in 1805. Major Handy had, in the meanwhile, returned 
to Newport, Rhode Island. Dr. Huston, a physician of wide reputa- 
tion, lived in the mansion and practiced medicine in Salisbury until 
his death, about the middle of the last century. One of his old family 
servants, who recently died, at an advanced age, Saul Huston, was 
the wealthiest colored man in that section of the State. As is almost 
invariably the case with old family servants of the Eastern Shore — 
but very few of whom now survive — Saul was shrewd, dignified, with 
a quick brain and pleasing personality, and carried the impress of old- 
time manners and virtues. 

Dr. Huston left a large family; one of his daughters married 
William W. Handy, and they became the parents of John Huston 
Handy, the noted Maryland lawyer; another. Dr. Cathell Humphreys, 
and a third, Thomas Robertson, who occupied the mansion until it 
was purchased by George Waller, father of the present owner. A 
house of much earlier construction stood on "Poplar Hill," and the 
back building, now connected by a colonnade, (built by Major Handy), 
with the mansion, was the original Winder residence. A grove of 
Lombardy poplars, the largest ever known to grow in that section, 
originally surrounded the mansion, but they have disappeared, and 
the tree is no longer found in that part of the Eastern Shore. A large 
section of the city of Salisbury was built on the "Pemberton's Good 
Will" tract. Isabella Street and Elizabeth Street are named for Dr. 
Huston's daughters. 

Col. Isaac Handy, the progenitor of the Somerset family, settled 
on the Wicomico River in 1665, three miles from the site of Salisbury, 
and did an importing business on the present Main Street. Salisbury 
was known as "Handy's Landing" until 1732. 


^'Rokawakin'" Church 

DR. ALFRED NEVIN, in his "History of the Presbytery of Phila- 
delphia and Philadelphia Central" writes: "The Presbyterians 
had their meeting houses in Snow Hill, Pitts Creek, Wicomico, Mano- 
kin and Rehoboth, as early as 1680." The frontispiece map shown in 
"The Days of Makemie," by Rev. L. P. Bowen, D.D., indicates the 
location of these early established churches. The church as originally 
built on the Wicomico River was on what is now the "Anderson 
Farm," called the "Upper Ferry" on the main thoroughfare from 
Princess Anne to Barren Creek. Around this church at the time of 
the Revolutionary War were quite a number of Presbyterian families. 
Among the more noted were those of Major Roxburgh, the Slemonses, 
Andersons, Irvings, Lynchs, Ellegoods, Pollitts and Taylors. After 
the original church became dilapidated and the population extended 
farther northward, the old church was removed from its site at the 
"Ferry" to the road crossing at the "Rokawakin Creek," four miles 
from Salisbury. The architecture of this church, as shown in the 
picture, is similar to that of the Protestant Episcopal Spring Hill 



Church and tradition has it that the framing, including sills, rafters 
and sleepers were the material of the old church. 

That the Presbyterian Church was firmly established on the lower 
Eastern Shore of Maryland by Francis Makemie there is no doubt. 
The following is quoted from "The Days of Makemie," and shows 
the activities of this remarkable man: 

"The months that followed were privileged seasons in the lives of 
our Presbyterian colonists. Mr. Makemie was everywhere, cheering 
the hearts of the scattered Calvinists, preaching on the Annamessex, 
preaching on the Manokin, preaching on the Wicomico, preaching up 
toward the head of navigation on the Pocomoke, preaching on the 
seaboard, preaching down on the Virginia line." 

Prior to 1764 the Manokin and Wicomico churches were united 
under one pastorate. One of the events of interest in the "History of 
the Manokin Presbyterian Church," under date of April 26, 1796, is 
the following : "Ordered, that a collection be taken in the congregation 
every Sabbath during the time the Rev. John Collins is appointed by 
Presbytery to preach." The following is entered upon the sessional 
minutes at this time : "The Presbytery .... directs that the Rev. 
Johh Collins supply every third Sabbath at 'Rokawakin' (Wicomico), 
Manokin and Rehoboth, in rotation, till the last of August, the rest 
of his time, until the next sessions, to be at his own discretion." 

Appropriate to the passing of many of these sacred edifices, are 
the closing words of a sermon delivered by the Rev. A. C. Heaton. 
D.D., Sunday, May 4, 1865. 

"Where many a pious foot hath trod 
That now is dust, beneath the sod ; 
Where many a sacred tear was wept. 
From eyes that long in death have slept. 
The temple's builders, where are they — 
The worshippers? All passed away. 
We rear the perishable wall. 
But ere it crumble, we must fall." 

[ igo 

Built about 1733 

SITUATED on the northwest bank of the Wicomico River a short 
distance westerly of "Green Hill Church," is an old house known 
as the "Ben Davis House." This property has been in the Davis 
family for many years and is now owned by the heirs of Ben Davis, 
Jr. Unfortunately this house is no longer occupied and is rapidly 
going to ruin, yet the lines indicate that one day it was a substantial 
homestead. It is said to have been the parsonage connected with 
"Green Hill Church." This house is situated on the bank of the river 
like the church and has a commanding view of the river for miles. In 
the days when people traveled to church in boats it must have been 
a wonderful sight to see the river, for miles, white with the sails of 
the parishioners' canoes coming to attend divine service. The shift- 
ing of the population nearer the towns and building of State high- 
ways are the chief reasons for these old structures and homes becom- 
ing deserted. 

IQI ] 

Opposite "Green Hill" 

THE "Chase House," built of wood, stands on the south side of the 
Wicomico River, nearly opposite "Green Hill," and is well pre- 
served. Tradition gives the date of its building as about the same time 
as that of "Pemberton Hall." Here Rev. Thomas Chase lived while 
rector of Somerset Parish, and here his son, Samuel Chase, among 
the greatest of American lawyers, was born, April 17, 1741. Rev. 
Thomas Chase, for the last thirty-four years of his life, was rector of 
St. Paul's Parish, in Baltimore City, being appointed by Governor 
Bladen, February 1 1, 1745. He died April 4, 1779, when his son had 
attained high rank at the bar, and as a leader in the Revolution. 
Taught the classics and English branches by his father, Samuel 
Chase studied law at Annapolis, where he made his home. He was 
elected to the Assembly repeatedly from 1764 to 1784; sat in the 
Continental Congress in 1 774-1 778; went with Benjamin Franklin 
and Charles Carroll on a special mission to Canada in 1774; signed 
the Declaration of Independence; removed to Baltimore in 1786, after 
another term in Congress; was appointed Judge of the Baltimore 
Criminal Court, 1788, and Chief Judge of the General Court of 

[ IQ2] 


Maryland, i/qi ; President Washington named him an Associate Jus- 
tice of the United States Supreme Court in i/qb, and he served as 
such until his death in Washington, June iq, i8ii. Boldest among 
the Maryland patriots, he early counseled independence, and in the 
Congress declared, "by the God of Heaven, I owe no allegiance to the 
King of Great Britain!" 

Of the nine impeachment trials before the United States Senate, 
that of Judge Chase, in 1805, is, next to the impeachment of President 
Johnson, the most notable. Johnson's acquittal was made possible 
by the vote of an Eastern Shore Senator, George Vickers, of Kent, 
and Chase, an Eastern Shoreman by birth, was defended in his trial 
by an Eastern Shoreman by adoption, Luther Martin. Martin 
learned his first law in the library of Judge Solomon Wright at 
"Blakeford," while he was teaching school at Queenstown, and 
attained his first eminence at the bar in Somerset. On the advice of 
Chase, he was made Attorney-General of Maryland, and after twenty- 
seven years in this office appeared before the Senate as Chases chief 
advocate. Goddard says: 

Judge Chase had been most injudicious in his remarks concerning Presi- 
dent Jefferson's official course. Yet that he was not deserving of impeachment 
the result of a trial before a body containing a majority politically opposed 
to him, clearly indicates. The impeachment was not sustained, only three of 
the eight articles receiving even a majority of the votes of the Senators, none 
the requisite two-thirds. 

Delisle writes: 

No man ever stood higher for honesty of purpose and integrity of motive 
than Judge Chase. Notwithstanding the rancor of such party feeling as dared 
to charge President Washington with appropriating the public money to his 
private use did all in its power to pluck the ermine from his shoulders, yet his 
purity beamed the brighter as the clouds grew darker and he lived to hear the 
last whisper of calumny flit by like a bat in the morning twilight. 

At this trial Aaron Burr, whom Martin was two years later to so 
effectively defend at Richmond on the indictment for treason, pre- 
sided. Judge Chase built the "Chase House" at Annapolis in \-j-jo— 
the only colonial three-story dwelling in "The Ancient City." 

One of the recent owners of the Somerset ancestral Chase home- 
stead was Henry J. Dashiell, the grandfather of Congressman Jesse D. 
Price, of the First District. Mr. Dashiell sold it to Col. Lemuel 
Malone, and the present owner is Ephraim Bounds. 

[ 193 ] 

On Original Site 

HISTORY, the record of men and the things they do, is valuable 
according to its adherence to truth; and it is equally false, cer- 
tainly in its purposes, if it leaves unrecorded that which had most 
important consequences. In other States and places families and 
names disappear, but the history of the Eastern Shore of Maryland 
is largely read in its family names. 

No reference, however brief, to Wicomico County would be true 
to itself and to the people of which it is a record if nothing were said 
about Spring Hill Church — once the church of Stepney Parish, which 
has been the center of the parish life for a century and a half. The 
history of Spring Hill Church is the history of the old families con- 
tributing to its support, influenced by its teachings, the people for 
whom it has so long been the center of religious, social and intellectual 
life. These are the family names which themselves, by their mention, 
tell the history of this old church, and so largely the history of that 
part of Wicomico County, for generations : the Hitches, Robertsons, 
Wallers, Howards, Gillises, Fowlers, Freenys, Gordys, Weatherlys — 
names synonymous with the church, and a large part of the county. 

[ 194 ] 

Built about 1766 

THE "Bishop Stone House" was built on a tract of land which, 
for a number of years was in the Stone family, and is situated 
about half way between Salisbury and Spring Hill Church, on the 
old stage road leading from Salisbury to Barren Creek, Vienna, and 
up the Eastern Shore. 

The special feature of interest in connection with this house is the 
fact it was the home of the third Bishop of the Diocese of Maryland. 
Bishop William Murray Stone was born in Somerset County, June i , 
1 779, and was educated at and graduated from Washington College, 
Chestertown. He was elected and consecrated Bishop of the Diocese 
of Maryland, October 21, 1830, and lived in this house until his 
death, February 26, 1838. At the convention which elected him there 
was rivalry as to who should be chosen Bishop of the Protestant 
Episcopal Church in Maryland. As a compromise, the convention 
decided upon the oldest minister in the diocese and it was found that 
Rev. William Murray Stone was the oldest, and therefore he was 

[ 195] 


duly elected and consecrated bishop. After his death the property 
was sold and the family removed to the south side of the Wicomico 
River, now in Somerset County. Dr. Stone, the surviving son of the 
bishop, died a few years ago, having passed his "three score years and 
ten." The property is now owned by E. Jackson Pusey, of Salisbury. 
The residence is in a well-preserved condition and is said to have 
been built about a century and a half ago. 

The remains of Bishop Stone for many years rested in the burying 
ground on this place, but after it passed from the Stone family were 
removed to Parsons' Cemetery, Salisbury. In 1878 the Dioceses of 
Maryland and Easton erected a handsome monument over the grave 
as a memorial of the Church's love of Bishop Stone. On the monu- 
ment is the following inscription: 

In loving memory of the 

Rt. Rev. Wm. Murray Stone, D.D. 


Bishop of Maryland. 

On the tomb the inscription is as follows: 

This stone marks the Hallowed resting place of one who faithful unto death 
now rejoices in the crown of life which God has prepared for those that love him. 
The Right Rev. William M. Stone, D.D. was born June i, 1779, was Rector of 
Spring Hill and Stepney Parishes more than 25 years, was consecrated Bishop of 
Maryland October 21, 1830, and died 26th of Feb. 1838. 
He was eminently meek and had not foes 
His heart was warm and true and he had cordial friends 
Office and honor sought him in the retirement which he loved 
Patience and faith sustained him in the trials of his pilgrimage 
And hope never forsook him until she beheld him in the fruition of the everlasting 
promises of the Master whom he had devotedly served. 


!JL~ ^» 

On Wicomico River 

LOCATED on a high bank on the south side of the Wicomico River, 
-' at the junction of Tony Tank Creek and the river, about two 
miles from Salisbury, is "Cherry Hill," the home of the Somers and 
Gunby families for the past two centuries. 

This place derives its name from the first patent, in which the 
land is called "Cherry Hill." The original house was built of wood, but 
has been rebuilt by the present owner, Louis W. Gunby, of Salisbury. 
The interior, however, has been preserved, with its broad fireplaces 
and curved staircase, borders of scrollwork and the flooring of heart 
pine. The chimneys are on the outside, as originally built, and the 
house has a very picturesque appearance from the river, and from 
the house there is an extended view of the Wicomico above and 
below for miles. 

There were several owners of "Cherry Hill" before it came into 
the possession of Capt. Samuel Somers, about the end of the eight- 
eenth century, who added to and enlarged the house that had been 
there many years. Captain Somers was a noted sea captain and 
traded with the West and East Indies to Baltimore and to "Cherrv 



Hill," where he had large warehouses for the storage of the goods 
brought on his trips, and supplied the back country extending to 
Snow Hill. 

He was of the noted Somers family, members of which served in 
the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. One of his ancestors, 
George Somers, is said to have raised the first British flag on Bermuda 
Island after being shipwrecked there. Captain Somers' only son, 
William D. Somers, died without male issue, having one daughter, 
who is now Mary Pollitt. Captain Somers' two daughters married 
brothers, John and William Gunby. The present owner of the old 
family residence, Louis W. Gunby, of Salisbury, is a son of Charlotte 
Somers and John Gunby, and he has made this old mansion and its 
surrounding grounds one of the most beautiful country homes on the 
Eastern Shore. 


y / 







, — ■ 


C^tv 'JM/M^^jB^a -' ^ 

C ' J t. 

,-K -mwhi 



. ■ i, , 



Established 1782 

WASHINGTON College was established by an Act of the Legisla- 
ture of Maryland in 1782. It ranks as the oldest college in 
Maryland, and the eleventh in order of foundation in the country. 
There had been in existence in Chestertown the Kent County School, 
which dates back certainly to 1723, and which probably had its 
beginning at a still earlier unknown date. The college charter merely 
"enlarged the plan of the Kent County School by engrafting thereon 
a system of liberal education in the arts and sciences." 

The college was the concept of the distinguished divine, publicist 
and educator. Rev. William Smith, D.D., who served both as the 
first president of the Board of Visitors and Governors, and first 
principal of the college. Under Dr. Smith's direction and influence a 
foundation sum of ten thousand pounds was subscribed, mainly by 
citizens of the Eastern Shore, in consideration of which subscription 
the State pledged the annual appropriation — the income from certain 
licenses and fees. The State, however, soon came to discharge this 
obligation very irregularly and the progress of the college was thereby 

[ 200 ] 


liampered. During the past decade the State has made reasonably 
generous appropriations for maintenance and improvements, and the 
college has shown a marked development in every respect. 

George Washington's connection with the college is peculiar and 
interesting. In a letter dated Newburg, New York, August i8, 1782, 
he graciously accepted the compliment of giving his name to the 
college. In the same letter he contributed the sum of fifty guineas 
toward the foundation. In 1784 he visited the college, subscribed his 
name as a member of the corporation of 'Visitors and Governors, and 
attended the commencement of that year. In 178Q the degree of 
Doctor of Laws was conferred upon him by the college. This diploma, 
together with the diplomas for the like degree conferred by the uni- 
versities of Yale, Harvard, Brown and Pennsylvania, is carefully pre- 
served in the archives of the Congressional Library at 'W-^ashington. 

The original building at Washington College, the cornerstone of 
which was laid by Governor Paca in 1783, was probably the most 
imposing college building in the country at the time. It had a frontage 
of 160 feet, and contained class-rooms, living-rooms for students and 
instructors, and an auditorium in the rear. This building was 
destroyed by fire in 1827. Owing to the failure of the State to fulfill 
its promises in the matter of appropriations, and the difficulty of 
raising money in other ways, it was not until 1844 that sufficient 
means were at hand to begin the rebuilding of the college. The 
college was not, howev^er, closed in the meantime, as the classes were 
conducted in rented quarters. In 1844 Middle Hall was erected and 
ten years later two additional buildings, known as East Hall and 
West Hall, were built. The past ten years has shown the most marked 
development in the history of the college. The faculty has been 
increased ; the curriculum rearranged and new courses of study intro- 
duced; the requirements for admission and graduation have been 
raised; an athletic field, with stands and a cinder running-track, 
graded and enclosed, and two new buildings, William Smith Hall 
and the gymnasium, erected. 

The physical equipment of the college consists of four residence 
halls for students; three houses for professors; the old gymnasium, 
soon to be converted into sick quarters; William Smith Hall, con- 
taining the offices, recitation rooms, library, laboratories and audi- 

[ 201 ] 


torium; the gymnasium, a commodious and well-equipped building 
for physical training and indoor games, and Washington Athletic 
Field. These buildings are situated on a beautiful campus of about 
sixteen acres, improved with convenient walks, well-kept lawns, shade 
trees and ornamental shrubbery. 

Washington College has experienced the vicissitudes common to 
all colleges of early foundation in this country, but it has persisted 
through these changes and shown an ever-increasing vitality. Its 
doors have never been closed. At all times it has clung to high ideals 
of scholarship and character, and given to the State and the nation 
invaluable service in the training of young men for good citizenship. 

President cf Washington College 

The present Board of Governors of Washington College is composed of 

James Alfred Pearce 

Samuel Vannort 
George B. Westcott 
Hope H. Barroll 
John Walter Smith 
Harry J. Hopkins 
James E. Ellegood 
Dr. John W. Mace 
J. Frank Harper 
T. Alan Goldsborough 
W. Mason Shehan 
Dr. Harry L. Dodd 

Lewin W. Wickes 

Clarence W. Perkins 
William W. Beck 
Philip G. Wilmer 
John D. Urie 
Dr. Harry Simpers 
Dr. Frank B. Hines 
S. Scott Beck 
William B. Usilton 
Curtis E. Crane 
Harrison W. Vickers 
Harry C Willis 

Eben F. Perkins is Treasurer of the Board 

[ 202 ] 

On the Eastern Shore 

I CANNOT call this book complete without a few words of tribute 
to those men — in the main descendants of the colonial pioneers — 
who lead the "simple life" on the waterfront of the Eastern Shore. 
My official work for many years has brought me into personal con- 
tact with them and their families. Down on the banks of most of 
our navigable rivers in tidewater Maryland are many small vine- 
covered cottages with flowers in the yards. It has been my frequent 
good fortune to partake of meals in these homes in every Eastern 
Shore county and the feeling of "I share what I have with you" lends 
the air of hospitality which makes this section distinctive, even in 
the fisherman's cottage. 

Upon a recent visit to the Straits District, in the lower part of 
Dorchester County, on Elliott's Island, which is separated from the 
mainland by six miles of marsh roads, I stopped for dinner at the 
home of an interesting old lady — bent, but having the use of all her 
faculties. During the course of our conversation she told me that 
she had passed her ninety-seventh milestone, having been born at 

[ 203 ] 


Bishop's Head in Dorchester. She proudly related that her grand- 
father was also born in the county, had lived to be over a century, 
and had fought for the independence of the American colonies. 

Wrong impressions have been circulated in other parts of Mary- 
land and its neighboring States, which have led many people to con- 
demn the watermen of the Eastern Shore as a class, and to entertain 
an erroneous impression of them as "pirates. " Upon the whole, they 
are good citizens, almost entirely of the Anglo-Saxon race, of worthy 
lineage linking them with the early colonists, true to their own tradi- 
tional code of honor, with strong home instincts, sturdy and self- 

Their forefathers have fought on the battlefields of every war in 
which this nation has been engaged, and should our country, in their 
generation, be so unfortunate as to be drawn into armed conflict with 
any other, these men of the "sun-tanned brow " and the "horny hand," 
accustomed to hardship and willing to make sacrifices, even to the 
last of all, would be prompt in response to their country's call. Such 
wars may God forbid, and this productive Peninsula never be plowed 
by enemy shells, and our remaining colonial relics destroyed by shot 
and torch. 

S. E. 







APR 3 9 1942 



"-• T ■ -J i h jy 



^^'/ 12 \oJl 

V i'^T- 




LD 21-100ot-8,'34 

• «- yju I C.U